Candy Cane Kids Ministry - Amber's Story

Born on January 31, 1991, I was by all accounts a healthy baby girl. My older sister, Lindsey Amber Stewart, died at six months old due to a neuromuscular disease known as Spinal Muscular Atrophy type 1; this is the worst kind of SMA a child can get, and these kids rarely, if ever, live past the age of two. A year later my brother Matt was born and was healthy, so when I was born my parents weren’t sure what to expect since there’s a one in four chance that two SMA carriers will conceive a child with the disease. Up until I was six months old, I showed no signs of having SMA. By that point, however, I had not started to crawl, walk, roll over, or turn my head, and all the medical tests confirmed I had the same thing my sister had. My parents were given the same news they had heard before: “your daughter is going to die. There is nothing we can do. Cherish the time you have with her.” So they did. I spent the majority of my childhood in the hospital. I have witnessed miracles unfold before my very eyes, and proved every doctor’s predictions wrong. I surrendered my heart and life to Jesus Christ when I was eight years old and have been serving Him ever since. God couldn’t be more real to me if He was sitting beside me having a cup of coffee. Without His love and grace I wouldn’t be here today. He truly is my best friend. Because of my relationship with Christ I have a joy and peace that surpasses any of life’s challenges. Why? He told me in His word that all things work together for good to those who love God (Romans 8:28). I know that God doesn’t want anyone to suffer – that’s satan’s job. But through His son Jesus Christ God has offered a helper by which we can overcome anything on this earth and have the promise of being with God one day. All we have to do is admit we need the help of God and surrender our lives to Christ.

If you're wondering how I spend my time today besides running Candy Cane Kids, I am a 27 year old college student majoring in Criminal Justice and Cybersecurity, and am starting my own private investigation business. I am incredibly stubborn to the point that if people tell me I can't do something, I'll prove I can. I go zip-lining, swimming, ride roller coasters, and am always on my computer writing, reading, or working on ministry. I love my family, and my Savior always comes first. I have always loved helping people in whatever way I can. I absolutely adore children, so when God gave me the burden to start an organization such as this one, I couldn't let Him down.

I believe God put me on this earth for a reason: to spread His message of hope. To let people know that they don’t have to suffer; that they can cast all their burdens at the Savior’s feet. I started Candy Cane Kids Ministry in 2010 to spread the love of God to hurting children. Whether they’re orphans, homeless, or seriously ill, every child needs to know that there’s a Holy God who loves them so much that He gave His life and rose again just so they could be happy. 

In His service,

Amber K. Stewart