By MELISSA WELLHAM
Sarah Hershberger is 10-years-old and is suffering from a disease called lymphoblastic lymphoma.
Lymphoblastic lymphoma is a form of non-Hodgkin lymphoma that most frequently affects people who are aged under 35, and has a five year 85% survival rate – if the patient undergoes chemotherapy.
But Sarah’s parents don’t want her to get chemotherapy treatment. Not because they think it will be physically taxing, or ultimately unsuccessful in saving their daughter’s life.
Sarah’s parents don’t wish for her to have treatment because they are Amish.
And now 10-year-old Sarah says that she doesn’t want treatment either.
The Amish faith is a traditionalist (very traditionalist) Christian fellowship, which is well known for their commitment to simple living, understated and modest dress, and their aversion to many of the conveniences of modern life – those conveniences include cars, television and modern medicine. Yes, medicine.
Because of their beliefs, Sarah’s parents have chosen to stop their daughter’s chemotherapy. Instead, they will be turning to natural remedies in the hope of being able to ease her pain. Sarah was undergoing chemotherapy at the beginning of the year but when she became ill with side effects, her parents decided that they should be pursuing alternative routes of treatment.
When Andy and Anna Hershberger first decided to stop their daughter’s chemotherapy, an Ohio Medina County judge ruled that they were legally able to decide what was medically best for their child. This was ultimately their decision; not the doctors.
Sarah had to testify in court herself and said that she asked her parents to stop the chemotherapy treatments. Despite being only 10-years-old, this little girl’s faith is steadfast and she believes chemotherapy would be against God’s wishes. .