The miracle of Rayne

Published 11:25 pm Saturday, January 7, 2012

In early 2009 two-year-old Rayne Bordelon was diagnosed with Stage 4 neuroblastoma. Cancerous tumors were found in her abdomen, chest, spine and had spread throughout her body.

Rayne’s mother, Terri, a licensed clinical social worker and her father, Johnny, an engineer working with the St. Tammany Parish Department of Engineering, were blindsided with the diagnosis — they were expecting to be told Rayne had an ear infection and might need tubes in her ears.

Terri Bordelon wrote a description that best captured the feeling of the moment:

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“Devastation doesn’t quite capture it… my husband helped me describe it. He said, “You know when you have had a terrible nightmare and your breath catches in your throat and then you wake up and realize that you are safe and all is well? It is that but reversed … you’re safe, life is normal and all is well, then your breath catches in your throat and you wake up in a nightmare.”

The wonderful community that is Picayune immediately rallied around the family.

“I have a super special attachment to the gift of the town that is Picayune. It is a special place where total strangers go out of their way to help you,” says Terri Bordelon.

Boy Scout Troop 2 member Kirk Chatelain used his Eagle Scout project as an effort to collect help for the little girl’s medical expenses. Chatelain and his fellow Picayune NJROTC members marched through Picayune on Aug. 29 of that year, handing out flyers to increase awareness of the event. Flyers were donated to the cause by two local businesses and another business donated 11 t-shirts to advertise the blood drive.

The Boulevard Cruisers and other Picayune residents, including the Blue Knights, held fund raisers for little Rayne.

Today, Terri Bordelon reports that Rayne isn’t sick any more.

“When I got home to Picayune I was happy that it was over; my husband made 72 trips to Memphis to be with us and I managed to fit in three trips home to Picayune to be with our older children. I yearned for home while we were away from Picayune; I yearned for my family to be together again.” 

Eight-year-old Kaci, who began home-schooling to stay with her sister and mom, says, “Now is fun; Rayne isn’t sick anymore and everyone is together. It’s a happy time now that all of the sickness has gone away. Best of all — no more doctors.”

Both of the sisters trade knowing looks and smile.

Today, four-year-old Rayne rides her bike and plays wedding with her big sister Kaci in the side yard. She loves to pet puppies and kittens, count, talk and show off her pretty dress shoes in different colors; her only current dilemma is deciding on her favorite color.

“I like all of the colors,” she says.

The entire family has been changed by the miracle of Rayne’s healing.

Terri’s practice has changed as well.

“My practice is a bible based, Christian practice specializing in children with behavioral and emotional problems. I also see adults and families but I specialize in children. I have changed because of what I have seen. How could I watch the miracle of my daughter being healed of terminal cancer and not give all of me to Jesus who saved her? And, because of what I have seen in my own family, I fully expect to see miracles in the families I work with.

“The faith of a mustard seed has been key in our journey. My husband had a discussion with me about it one night at St. Jude and the next day, without even knowing, Kaci drew a picture of a mountain and blue water. I asked her what it was and she said to me, ‘That mountain is gonna jump in that puddle because we believe, mama.’ I kept that picture up in Rayne’s room at St. Jude until we left.”