‘A peace that passes understanding’Published 10:40pm Friday, May 31, 2013
It has been exactly one week since the four girls making up the senior class at Atmore Christian School graduated, and while most are celebrating a new chapter in their lives, Narissa Wiggins is celebrating simply being alive after a scare with stage one ovarian cancer.
Following a procedure Tuesday at Mobile Infirmary, Narissa’s doctors say the caner is gone. Despite her brush with a potentially deadly illness, Narissa seems to have an uncanny calm about her.
“It’s all because of my faith in God,” she says. “It’s a peace that passes all understanding. Like it says in the Bible.”
Narissa’s father, Greg, said he has not been as calm she has, but trusted in God and his daughter’s resolve to carry her through the situation.
“I was a mess,” he said. “We found out over spring break. She was still playing ball up until then.”
Greg said his daughter, who was a starter for ACS’ volleyball and softball teams, never complained of any pain until a swelling in her abdomen finally caused her to speak up.
“My belly was huge,” Narissa said. “It all happened pretty quickly.”
Narissa said a trip to Atmore’s urgent care facility quickly turned into a life-altering moment.
“I was pretty scared,” she said. “I never thought anything like that would actually happen to me. It was just a surprise.”
Greg said catching the cancer at stage one was important, but added it was Narissa’s spirit that kept them both going.
“She never slowed down,” he said. “She never complained.”
In the weeks following her diagnosis Narissa underwent a surgery at Mobile infirmary that removed one of her ovaries.
Even facing the possibility of not being able to one day have children of her own, Greg said his daughter’s attitude and optimism was nothing short of God-given.
“They only removed one ovary, so having children should be no trouble,” he said. “But even before, she just said, ‘you know, I can adopt.’”
While Narissa now has a clean bill of health, she said she is not done with doctors and hospitals as she has planned to pursue a career in nursing long before her recent medical scare.
“It’s just something I always wanted to do,” she said. “I want to do something that helps people.”
And when it comes to help, Narissa said she has received more than enough from her classmates and teachers at ACS, as well as from her church family at Atmore Mennonite Church.
“The church family helped out tremendously,” she said. “(My classmates) were really supportive. They talked about it and they said they would help me if I ever needed anything. That felt good.”
Narissa said she still has some routine doctor checkups to go, but says now that her recent health battle is all but behind her, she is looking forward to enrolling in Jefferson Davis Community College this fall to begin studying nursing.