Wednesday, May 9, 2012

A Prayer for Leon

     It's the call no one wants to receive. The call that informs us that a dear friend has been diagnosed with cancer. A friend, who also happens to be one of the best all-around people you've ever had the good fortune to meet.

     The call came to me late last week.

Leon Petite
     My friend's name is Leon Petite.

     Many of you know Leon---even though you may not have actually met him. He delivered the news to Alabama, Florida and Mississippi viewers on the Gulf Coast for 20 years. He also has coached Little League baseball, videotaped many a little girl's dance recital, emceed charity events, been active in faith-based groups, volunteered at community fundraisers, raised money for charities, and in general--- has been a really good friend to the communities in South Alabama, Northwest Florida, and South Mississippi... and the people who live in them.



Leon with newborn Trey
     About a dozen years ago, many of you met "Leon's Little Boy." That was the name of the series that aired on the local television station where Leon worked at the time as a reporter. Leon's little boy, Trey, had been diagnosed with cancer, not long after his 1st birthday. News viewers followed Trey and his family's journey from diagnosis, through surgery and treatment, and to eventual remission. To date, Trey remains cancer free.
Leon and Trey today
     In fact, Trey's annual checkup at St. Jude Hospital this year falls on the exact day that his dad, Leon, is scheduled for surgery to remove the cancer from his jawbone. It's a rare form of bone cancer which requires swift and aggressive action. 

     Leon is a man of great faith. He is upbeat, positive and strong. He told me in our conversation last week that he has turned his circumstances over to God.  He also asked for prayer.

      Leon has given so much support and joy to the people and communities in this area throughout the years. Now is our opportunity to give back to him. On his behalf, and with his permission, I am sharing his story with you and asking you to pray for him and his sweet family.

      Several years ago, I began lighting a candle in my office when there is a special prayer need. Everytime I look at the candle, it serves as a reminder to whisper a prayer for the person who needs it.

     My candle is burning.

     James 5:16 ..."pray for one another."  Please join me in praying for Leon Petite---my friend and yours.

74 comments:

  1. I love Leon and will certainly be in prayer for his strength and healing! Thanks Drexel

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    1. I went to Davidson High School with Leon. One of the sweetest guys you could ever meet. My prayers are with him for a swift and complete recovery.

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    2. I went to Davidson High School with Leon. One of the sweetest guys you could ever meet. My prayers are with him for a swift and complete recovery!

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  2. I remember Leon well as a reporter in our area and the story about his son. God is the Great Physician and Healer. I will keep Leon and his family in my prayers.

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  3. Oh my heart and prayers goes out to Leon and his family. I had the pleasure of meeting Leon while working at WKRG TV 5 and he was very pleasant and kind. Please keep us updated on his progress.

    Kesshia Davis

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  4. One more miracle that God can do!! Praying for that Miracle.

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  5. I lost my boyfriend a few years back in a horrible car accident. Leon did a special on him for the news and gave me a copy of it. I will never for as long as I live forget how much that meant to me. I know him away from the news and he really is an awesomer guy!! Prayers headed his way for sure!!

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  6. I remember Leon as a reporter. I had the pleasure of meeting Leon at my daughters wedding several years back. Always a smile. Prayers for Leon and his family during this difficult time.

    David Andrews

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  7. Will be praying for Leon and his family during this journey called cancer. Like Leon, when I received the news of having cancer 5 years ago this month, I, too turned it over to God. Cancer is something that is far bigger than any of us, and only God can get you through that journey.....one day at a time. Praying for healing and peace that passes all understanding.

    Brenda Puckett

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  8. I remember Leon and you are right Drexel, he was a pleasure to have on the news that I watched. I will pray along with you and many others for Leon and his precious family. We dont always understand why things are happening but God has the big picture in focus and its always better than what we could imagine :)

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  9. He and his family will be in our prayers..

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  10. On Leon's behalf and our family, I would like to express our heartfelt thanks. We are humbled by your kindness and words of encouragement. Leon is in good spirits and has a very strong faith. We have beat cancer once and we will do it again.

    Thank you again,
    Jennifer Petite

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    1. We have a bedroom for you when you are in Birmingham. Our home is your home.

      Love and prayers,
      Mike and Molly

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  11. Love and prayers to Leon and his family...God be with us all...

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  12. thank you for sharing. Definitely will be praying. (and I just had you and Lauren on my mind thinking of preschool days before I read this FB post!)

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  13. Leon, I haven't seen you since our high school days any you may not remember me, but I will be praying for you and your family. We serve a big God and He is God over everything, including cancer!

    God Bless you my friend,
    Ronnie Nelson

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  14. I HAVE KNOWN LEON FOR AWHILE NOW HIS SON PLAYED BALL WITH MY NEPHEW FOR YRS. I HATE TO HEAR THIS WITH HIM. HE IS A GREAT GUY. AND A VERY CARING LOVING MAN/FATHER. I HOPE AND PRAY THAT HE AND HIS FAMILY GET THRU THIS. I WILL KEEP HIM IN MY PRAYERS THRU THIS ROUGH TIME.

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  15. We only knew him for a 2 years. Me and 2 other Ladies. We worked in the badging office. I dont remember the company's name he use to work for but he use to come up to Thyssenkrupp Steel almost everyday. He is the sweetest person you would ever want to be around. We will put his name on our prayer list at church.

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  16. If anyone has ever met Leon, they would just never forget him.... My prayers are with him and his family. God is a healer.

    Paula DeTiege

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  17. Always hate to hear things like this I worked with Leon when he was with the production team at Comcast Cable. Keeping him and his family in our prayers.

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  18. Our family has known Leon for many, many years as our sons played Little League together in Central Baldwin County. Leon, you and your family are being prayed for and I know that faith in our Lord, Jesus Christ will get each of you through this. Our love to you and blessing to you also.

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  19. Sending love and prayers. Grant and Delana Barber

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  20. My husband Kevin and I met Leon and Jennifer at an awesome Outback weekend experience last fall. I will never forget getting through the challenging ropes course as a group, and our husbands took the lead and showed us the way. It took a lot of faith and trust to cross those ropes 50 feet up in the air without holding on to anything, but each other! By the end of the day it seemed like our group were old friends because we stood together and supported each other and had faith and we made it to the other side together. I know this is soo much bigger than that ropes course, but God is bigger than all of this!! We are here to support you and I promise our family will lift your family up in prayer Leon and Jennifer. Please call or message us if you need anything!!!!

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  21. Our thoughts and prayers go out to your family from ours.

    The LaForce Family
    (Coach LaForce)

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  22. Will be praying for this sweet man and his family

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  23. Leon my family and I are all praying for you and we know you will beat and conquer this just like every other task you have ever set out to do! As you know God has you in his hands and will take care of you and your family always.

    The Adams Family
    (Craig, Misty, Kaitlin, Kayla, and Briley)

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  24. Praying for God to give strength for each moment, and for Leon and his family to feel the prayers of God's people for them on this journey.

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  25. The Underwood Family - Foley,AlMay 9, 2012 at 2:55 PM

    Prayers for the family. Will ask God to guide them each step of the way.

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  26. Leon, praying for you and your family. Keep the Faith, buddy.
    Ragan Workman Megginson
    (WKRG 1989)

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  27. We have known Leon and his family for years. Our boys played little league together and he is a terrific person. Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this time. You and your family have beat this before and we know that you will beat this again.

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  28. Heather JohnsonMay 9, 2012 at 3:25 PM

    Love and prayers to Leon and his family!!

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  29. That silly grin and chuckle . . . The Ridge crowd is praying for you my Brother!!!!!

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  30. Leon is in our prayers. It remains to be seen why he and his son have to fight this battle, but what i do know is the doctor who never loses a patient! Where doctors treat, God will heal.

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  31. Hey Leon my fellow DHS Warrior We hung out together in school thru another friend that we both knew and I was proud as hell to see you made it to the news screen your tuff your a Warrior and alway's will be my friend It's just another hurdle for you to take on and as before you'll whip it too, take care friend all us DHS warrior's are pullin for you.

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  32. My husband and I know that Leon is a great person in every way.
    He always has a positive attitude and I know that positive attitude will help him get through this.
    You are absolutely in our thoughts and prayers.
    Anne and Hal Scheurich

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  33. Love and prayers from my family to yours. Hope all is well and please keep us posted. You are a very strong gentleman and GOD will heal. Keep your head held high and never lose faith or give up hope.

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  34. I know God will see him and his family through this and also see Trey through his checkup. I know this has to be hard for him knowing his Dad is going through the same thing he has had to go through. My thoughts and prayers are with him and the family.

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  35. I will be keeping him and his family in my prayers. He went to my church and he is a great man. God bless you and your family!

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  36. I will be praying for him and his family during this time. May God bless him and carry him through this dark hour.

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  37. I went to high school with Leon and watched him through the years on the news when I would visit Mobile. I remember her as always smiling - one who would brighten a room. May God wrap his arms of comfort around him and his family as they worked through this devastating illness.

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  38. As parents who have paid a visit to St. Jude with our son, we paid attention to the story of Leon's son. My husband was diagnosed with Cancer two years ago yesterday, so we have walked in those shoes as well. We will be praying for healing for Leon, and strength for the family.

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  39. Prayers being sent from our family to his.

    Leslie Westbrook

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  40. On behalf of everyone from Silverhill Elementary School, May God Bless you and your family during this time.

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  41. Leon, I'm sure you will be reading this. You have always been a person that has a smile for everyone and you are just a joy to be around. Although, I haven't seen you in quite a while, please know we love you and you are in our thoughts and prayers. My family will be praying for you and your family during this difficult time!

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    1. will be praying ................

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  42. janie manning brewerMay 9, 2012 at 7:14 PM

    I went to Davidson with Leon and he was a great friend to me and eveyone he knew. An all around good person. Prayers to him and his family.

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  43. I have known Leon for years and he has always been a wonderful person. My prayers and love to you and your family. Keep the faith. :)

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  44. Leon, dear friend of my sons Trey and Steve....was at the house often and was a groomsman in Trey's wedding. I am saddened to learn of your diagnosis, but I know from personal experience that God will provide the strength, comfort and peace to get you through each moment of this journey. You were an important player in our lives...one who is remembered so fondly. I pray God's blessings on you and your family during this difficult time. Faye Whatley Woods

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  45. Thank you for posting this. Leon was the first "real news person" I ever met, some 20 years ago. Keeping him in my prayers. Sam Jackson, OB, AL

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  46. Sending prayers for Leon and the Petite family...I met him a while ago as his son played baseball with my nephew. He was always so much fun. I know his wonderful personality, family strength, and faith will get him through this. They've beat it before and they can do it again.

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  47. May God be with you and your family during this time you my friend are a very strong, loving and caring man You and your family are in my Prayer's I know in my Heart you will make it. PRAISE BE TO GOD No Greater Power

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  48. I used to run into Leon while on assignments with the newspaper. He has always been a great guy to work with and around. My prayers are lifted for healing and peace for your family as you go through this time. Jesus is our Great Healer and protector!

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  49. I hate cancer!!! I will pray for his complete healing. I am also glad his son is doing so well. I pray for his complete healing. With God all things are possible!!!!!KAT

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  50. Oh no.. I am so sorry to hear ths. His son was diagnosed by the same Pediatrician the same week as my daughter. Hers was Hodgkin's Lymphoma & she was able to be treated at USAWC. I also graduated from High School with Leon's sister, Sylvia. This just breaks my heart. Leon, be strong, & please find some strength in all the people you have praying & pulling for you. Sending you positive thoughts.

    Judy Boudreaux

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  51. Our children went to school together for a while. Leon was always a happy guy with a smile on his face. I hate to hear this news, but I am happy to hear of his stong faith! We will pray for him and his family!

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  52. Leon is a good man, a conscientious journalist and a man of God and family. I pass his home many days. He spends most of his time at home with his children. We will pray for Leon, knowing that God has blessed us with Leon's presence and that God is with him.

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  53. Penny Calametti ArataMay 10, 2012 at 6:07 AM

    I remember Leon from Davidson High School where he was best friends with my son David and all the antics they got into....I'll keep you and your family in my prayers...God bless..

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  54. Sending thoughts and prayers to Leon and his family.

    Venetia Rainer

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  55. God is our strength. Remember He will not take us to anything that He will not see us through. As I read these other posts I see how God has blessed Leon with many friends and Christian prayer warriors. I count myself as a fellow Christian that will be lifting the family in prayers. I prayed when his little baby was ill and I am so happy to hear how he has grown to be a healthy young man now. Please keep us posted about this new journey of Faith.

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  56. Praying for Leon & his family..

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  57. You and your family will be in my prayers each day. Our God is an awesome God & He is our Great Physician!! God Bless You!

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  58. Leon is a valuable member of our Men of St. Joseph group at Christ the King in Daphne. Leon has shared his illness with us, and we pray with and for him and his family. Leon is an example of bravery and faith in God, that touches all who know him. We will continue to offer our petition to our Lord, Jesus Christ, that His will be done.

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    1. Leon, Our prayers are with you. Hurry back.

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  59. Definitely praying for Leon. Thank you for sharing this with us. Since we invite you guys into our home daily... by way of the media... we have a familial connection. May God grant peace, healing, and a speedy recovery!

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  60. Dear Leon,

    Just in case you don't know, everything was taken care of. I am keeping you and your family in my prayers.

    Pam Holberg

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  61. Leon,

    My family will keep you and yours in our prayers. Also praying for your doctors and staff. The link to this post is being shared by your USM family. You have prayer warriors all over this world right now!! God Bless!!

    Candi Wright Freitag

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  62. Leon was always a joy to work with back in our days together at WPMI. As others have said... that smile and chuckle are always with him. A true gentleman and professional. I will gladly add my prayers for Leon and his family.

    Dave Straker

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  63. I have known Leon from back in our WKRG days and we have had him on KSJ several times in the past to share Trey's story during the St Jude radiothon. But I had no idea about his own battle until reading this. Leon, I am praying hard for you and your family!
    Shelby (Malia) Mitchell

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  64. I met Leon when we were in a wedding together. One of his best friends, Tony, married one of my best friends, Connie. Leon is one of those guys who was just easy to be friends with, and he would stop by when he was shopping at Gayfers, where I worked, and it was like seeing an old friend. I am so sorry to hear that he has cancer, but am so glad to hear about it to have the opporunity to pray for him. We know that God has all the power to heal him and use this situation for HIS glory. I am so glad that Leon has placed his trust in the Lord!!! Leon, if you are reading this, remember, YOU BELONG TO GOD!!! And HE gave up his son for our sins, what more would HE do for you?! God Bless and I will be watching and praying for you and your family. DeeDee Owen

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  65. I never met nor knew Leon Petite as I live away from his area; however, judging from the brief bio and the 'testimonials' above', not knowing him was my loss. The story of his son, Trey, and his own travails gives me a heavy heart. I will try to lighten it through prayer for Leon and Trey. My prayer is that God will continue to protect Trey and will see fit to keep Leon among us on earth. That He shall not only spare Leon, but that He will send us more people who will inspire remarks like those above. Jennifer Petite sounds like she has the positive attitude that will strengthen her family as they work their way through their journey. May God bless and protect them all. They sound like a family that makes a community a community we'd all like to live in. Sincerely, A New Friend

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  66. Leon, We’ll be praying for you and your family.
    Greg Z

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  67. Marcie Deakle HarceyMay 28, 2012 at 10:21 AM

    I also went to school with Leon and for years after as long as lived in Mobile I would run into from time to time usually when he was on an assignment. We would always have a great chat and catch up. Ioved away 15 years ago so I don't get those moments anymore and did not know about his son. Leon has always been a dear person and I will certainly keep him and the entire family close to my heart and in deep prayer. Love you, Leon! Get better quick!

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  68. My prayers are with you and your family Leon.
    a friend from high school

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