Monday, January 30, 2023

Christian news in Birmingham. AL

Fathom Events Announces Release...

The Highly-Anticipated Next Chapter of the Mega-Hit Series Comes to Theaters Nationwide for...

Frustrated with Hallmark? Try...

My family was vacationing at a condo a while back when I stumbled...

‘Lifemark,’ the Kendricks’ latest...

Editor’s note: This monthly series, “5 Family-Friendly Things,” spotlights five family-friendly entertainment choices...

Max McLean re-tells C.S....

You may not know Max McLean’s face, but you may know his rich,...
HomeFaithA Faith We Will...

A Faith We Will Never Forget

The DDFaith Memorial Gospel Concert is not just a show. While I love to hear Karen Peck and New River sing, and I’m excited for them to perform in our small town, this event is much more than the music.

You can catch it on Saturday, January 6, at 6 p.m. The venue is the Vern Riffe Center for the Arts on the campus of Shawnee State University in Portsmouth, OH. The Lore Family, Kyle and Brittany Shaeffer, The Payne Family and Simon Thoroughman are also on the docket. Calvin Ray Evans and Brian Baer are the featured speakers. There is no admission price, but donations will be accepted at the door in support of the DDFaith Foundation Scholarship.

The title is fitting – the “DDFaith Memorial.” You may wonder what that even means. But many of us are still very much aware, and when we stop to think about it, the memories flood back into our minds of her smile, her determination, her shout, and her belief in a loving and merciful God.

Karen Peck and New River perform at the premier DDFaith Memorial Gospel Concert in February 2017.

I had a front row seat for all of it. My brother-in-law was a single father with two young daughters when he brought Dee Dee into our lives. She had long curly black hair and a smile with braces, and I thought she looked like a teenager. Appropriately, I first met her at church. Blaine was a sheriff’s deputy working on drug-related cases, and she was a pharmacist at Kroger when they met. He later proposed to her on a prescription pad he slid under the counter window.

Dee Dee wasn’t the only one who believed God would heal her while she was on earth. She helped us believe too.

Their marriage plans were interrupted by the sudden illness and death of my father-in-law. But two months later, she became part of our family and was thrust into instant stepmother status. Our nieces Ashley and Brittany lived most of the time with her and Blaine, and they quickly found out she was a calm but stern and powerful influence in their lives.

A year after her marriage, she gave birth to a baby girl named Grace. This beautiful child inherited the dark hair and beautiful eyes of her mother and brought much laughter and joy into our family.

Dee Dee certainly had her idiosyncrasies. The main one was her constant tardiness. A good schedule never got in her way. We would start our family Christmas party, but she was still at the malls and eventually found her way there about the time everyone else was leaving. She lived on her own time clock, and we just got used to it. There was no use to get mad. We found it humorous after a while.

The years went by, and life was seemingly normal. Then Dee Dee was diagnosed with ovarian cancer.

The first time, she went through some rigorous chemo and lost her hair. I remember her words – she was willing to go through anything if it led her loved ones to accept Christ. She would do whatever it took. Fortunately, she recovered, and her hair grew back. She started “Team Grace” and got involved with the annual Relay for Life held by the American Cancer Society. She went back to work, and life continued until cancer returned a second time.

From left, Ashley, Blaine, Karen Peck, Grace and Brittany

This bout was worse. Her rigorous treatments made her sicker than ever, and her hair fell out again. She could not stand the awful taste in her mouth. When she finished the course, a PET scan revealed her to be in total remission. She excitedly called me at work that day to tell me, and I couldn’t wait for her to share her miracle. That evening, she stood in front of our church congregation, held up her hands to heaven and announced the news to a standing ovation. She even had a special shirt made for the occasion, and we celebrated her healing at my son’s birthday party later that month. A cake bore the words, “I Am Healed!” And her life returned to normal once again.

A year later, a knot appeared on her neck. At first, only she and Blaine knew about it. There would be no more chemo. She just couldn’t do it, and now she placed her future in God’s hands and drew closer to Him than ever before. Her faith was strong and bold. Nearly 18 months passed by, and then one day in March 2014, my office phone rang again. This time, the news was bleak. She explained how she had worn scarves for the past few months to hide the growing tumor on her neck, and the time had come to let her church family know so they could start praying for God to heal her. She planned to tell them herself that night at prayer meeting, but she never made it.

She was so sick she sent Blaine to share the news. He promptly left afterward to take her to the hospital. She had blood clots in her lungs, and the final journey had begun. Many from our church met at her home and surrounded it in prayer. We walked around the property seven times, God’s perfect number.

My son, Gabe, who was crazy about his aunt and her love for Christ, longed to do something to pay tribute to her overwhelming and unshakeable belief in God. His response was to order a vanity license plate for his truck that read “DDFaith.” I posted a photo of it on my social media, others began to share it, and the movement began with the slogan, “I Believe in Miracles.” Hundreds of shirts were sold, and pink signs with the saying and “DDFaith” were posted in yards all over the region and even in other parts of the state. Many people shared their support on social media with the hashtag #DDFaith. Grace’s school even hosted a special night at a home football game to raise money in support of the family.

Dee Dee was in and out of the hospital for several months. By fall, she was living in a hospital bed in the living room of her home. Ashley stayed with her during the day, and her mother Carol, a retired nurse, spent the nights. Her friend Kelly, daughter Ashley and I started a DDFaith Facebook page to keep her friends updated and to provide a way for those in the community to encourage her during the battle. Within 48 hours, the page garnered approximately 1,000 likes and reached more than 7,300 people. So many of her friends sent her inspirational messages of hope over the next several weeks.

My husband and I last visited her on New Year’s Eve. She sat up in bed and spoke with passion about Brittany’s upcoming wedding and all the plans to be made. She and Blaine were building on to their house, and she was excited about her new craft room. By now, the tumor was so big it could no longer be hidden. But the doctors wouldn’t touch it.

Three weeks later, she lapsed into unconsciousness, and we never spoke with her again. The family kept vigil around the clock for the next week. The day after she was admitted, her father went home with a broken heart, sat down in his recliner and passed away. She would hang on for another few days, but then we all gathered around her bedside as her breath grew shallow, and we watched her slip away into eternity to receive God’s ultimate healing.

Dee Dee wasn’t the only one who believed God would heal her while she was on earth. She helped us believe too. We sat in utter shock that day with many questions for God about how He could allow this to happen. I have shared only a brief portion of the details, but my husband has spent the last year trying to pen the story of DDFaith into words, how it began and how it still touches our lives today. We hope to publish her full account over the next few months.

We will never get over it completely. She changed our lives forever. While we may have moved on, we still think of her often, and we see her every day through Grace’s smile and laughter. This annual concert event helps us to remember Dee Dee’s grit and determination and her strong faith in God. Sure, it helps to raise scholarship money for high school seniors who have a testimony and inspire others, and that’s a wonderful thing. But it also helps to remind us of her and how we will truly never be the same.

Editor’s note: If you would like to donate to the DDFaith Foundation (a 501c3 Organization), please send a check to:

DDFaith Foundation
c/o Blaine Duduit
155 Ruth Ann Drive
Lucasville, OH 45648


- A word from our sponsors -


Most Popular

Subscribe to our newsletter

To be updated with all the latest news, offers and special announcements.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

More from Author

Big Daddy Weave Kicks Off Alive Tour in February

“Everything that has been shaken will be shaken.’” But now he said he feels like Big Daddy Weave is coming out on the other side, entering a new season of life and a season of ministering from a place they haven’t been before.

Joseph Habedank: Restored and Blessed with Successful Solo Ministry

In the fall of 2003, The Perrys introduced a 17-year-old Joseph Habedank to 20,000 Southern Gospel fans at the National Quartet Convention in Louisville, Kentucky.

Lessons of Wisdom for the Christian Leader’s Wife

“I never knew what I was supposed to do. I never...

Drawing Courage from the Women of the Bible

In Courageous Women of the Bible: Leaving Behind Fear & Insecurity For A Life Of Confidence and Freedom,” Latan Roland Murphy details the courageous stories of 11 women in the Bible, and they all demonstrate valuable life lessons for today’s Christian woman.

- A word from our sponsors -


Podcasting Priest Sees Hope in the Future of Christianity in America

Fr. Mike Schmitz believes that reports of Christianity is in a decline in America could be "good news" for the church.

Priest Who Went to Hell Shares What He Saw

A priest from Michigan claims he died and went to hell in 2016, saying he wouldn't wish it on his worst enemy.

Christians are Comfortable Resolving Conflict at Home —Barna

Barna Group released a study which found that Christians say they are comfortable resolving conflict at home.

More Afghan Christians Are Accessing the Bible Online

Online Afghan ministries report an increase in the number of Christians within Afghanistan who access virtual Bible study.

US Christian Group Celebrates 10,000th Traveler to Israel

Passages celebrated a milestone of bringing a total of 10,000 Christian students to Israel within seven years.

Week of Prayer 2023 in Europe Focuses on Joy

European evangelical churches are invited to a special weeklong time of prayer from January 8-15, 2023.

Lauren Daigle Donates Almost $700K to Charities

Christian music artist Lauren Daigle wrapped up the holiday season by donating $681,000 to community charities.

Fathom Events Announces Release of Left Behind: Rise of the Antichrist

The Highly-Anticipated Next Chapter of the Mega-Hit Series Comes to Theaters Nationwide for a Limited Run Beginning January 26, 2023. Tickets have recently become available. LEFT BEHIND: RISE OF THE ANTICHRIST is the next chapter of the mega-hit LEFT BEHIND film franchise, based on the 80 million-copy New York...

Franklin Graham Attracts Record-breaking Audience in Italy

More than 13,200 people gathered for an evangelical outreach led by Franklin Graham in Milan, Italy on October 29.

A Hindu PM Marks a Historic Moment in the UK

Rishi Sunak becomes Britain's first Hindu prime minister. He is also the first person of color to hold the highest office in the UK.

A New Biblical Worldview Study Series is Now Available Online

Family Research Council and Summit Ministries announced a partnership launching a new biblical worldview series called Now We Live.

Gen Z Could Change the Faith Landscape in Australia

Two recent surveys on Christianity and the church in Australia found that Gen Zs are generally open to conversations about faith and spirituality.