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Lipke family lives life through faith, not fear

Jackson High School’s Kate Lipke smiles for a picture during her freshman year. Submitted photo

Throughout our lives, we will constantly be faced with unexpected challenges, and they may seem impossible to prevent. The way that we deal with those adversities, though, is ultimately what gets us through them. When an unexpected challenge struck the Lipke family, three words got them through it: faith, not fear.

“It was like those three words just brought it all back home,” Scott Lipke said. His daughter, Kate, was born with hypoplastic left heart syndrome, a disease that is found in only two to three newborns out of ten thousand in the United States. If left untreated, HLHS is universally fatal, and 95% of untreated patients will die within the first two weeks of life.

Faced with many seemingly-impossible decisions, Scott Lipke and his wife, Ashley, opted to have Kate undergo three open-heart surgeries. They took the risk and kept the faith that God would save their daughter, but, naturally, not without fear.“When you’re going through that whole process of getting the diagnosis, moving on and going through the surgeries, and having to see your child struggling and in pain, fear creeps in,” Scott said.

“When you’re in that room in the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit, and the alarms are going off, and your daughter crashes and the doctors have to bring her back, you know you need to turn to God. But, you’re in between those four white walls and you haven’t been outside in days, and your mind starts to wander into fear. So, throughout all of that, we realized that we had to have faith, not fear.”

Through this mindset, Scott, Ashley and Kate, along with Kate’s two older brothers, Parker and Layton, navigated through their extremely difficult times. Kate’s surgeries were successful, and the family began to want a constant reminder of the mantra that had gotten them so far: Faith Not Fear.

“In 2011, right before Kate’s third surgery, we wanted to come up with a visual reminder of Faith Not Fear, so we came up with wristbands,” Scott said. “At the time, we ordered about 100 of them and gave them out to our family and close friends. Since then, we’ve ordered over 1,000 of them, and they’re all given out. They’ve gone all over the country, and even people in other countries have requested them.”

After realizing the lasting worldwide impact that the bracelets were having, the Lipkes developed their own Faith Not Fear website to help people around the world. From medical issues to losing a job, the Lipkes hope to spread their uplifting message.

On the website, people can purchase their own wristbands, along with hats, shirts, necklaces, key chains, stickers, and more.

“A big part of this website is that people can get these items and gift them to other people who are struggling; it’s not just for themselves,” Scott said. “I mean, you can give them flowers or balloons, and that’s fine, but these items are visual displays and reminders of who we should turn to in difficult times.”

To visit the Faith Not Fear website, go to www.faithnotfear.com.

“Pray, immerse yourself in God’s word, and surround yourself with a community that supports you; those are things that you can do everyday that will have you ready-made when life’s issues are thrown at you,” Scott said. “You won’t have to spiral into despair because you’re already in a good place. And, obviously, with God, all things are possible.”

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