David Burge Updates

David Burge updates his journey with leukemia

John 16:33

with 38 comments

Welcome to David’s blog, which serves as a record of our journey from November 2009 to July 2010. 


 Click here for the ARCHIVES

John 16:33
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

This last weekend David experienced sudden blurred vision. On Monday he was referred to the emergency eye clinic, then on to Middlemore, then Auckland hospital and after many tests, the doctors have found the cause: Dave has acute lymphoblastic leukemia. He has started chemotherapy.

So we find ourselves facing a very strong head wind of trouble. But we take heart. God is with us :-).

Thank you to all those are praying and giving us practical help.

Please pray for healing. Please pray for peace and courage for Tarnya (me) and our 8 children, for Dave’s parents Glenise and Jim, and David’s sister Vicki and her family.

Please pray for our church family, especially for the leadership.

I will use this blog, impersonal though it is, to write updates and to share our journey.


Update #1 (April 2010)

Since November Dave has had chemotherapy, gone into remission, and a 10/10 matching donor has been found on the international registry. Dave was scheduled for a bone marrow transplant in late April 2010, however a bone marrow biopsy showed that he was no longer in remission so he is undergoing further chemotherapy to try and achieve a second remission. The bone marrow transplant has been postponed.

Update #2 (May 2010)

The further chemotherapy did not achieve the desired second remission, and the results of a bone marrow biopsy done afterwards made it clear that a transplant was not an option. The consultant thought that even if a bone marrow transplant had happened earlier in the first remission Dave would have relapsed anyway. Dave is taking a chemo drug to control the leukemia and this will give him extra precious months.

Update July 2010

David died on the 4th July. Photos and a video of his service are available . You can read what Dave believed about the afterlife here.

David wrote 2 books in those last months. I hope to have them published soon (links coming…)

David and I choose not to allow leukemia to so cloud our lives that we did not receive each day as a blessing to be shared. Psalm 90:12. That is my prayer for you, that in all circumstances you can still find joy.

Love Tarnya


Written by admin

November 10, 2009 at 6:43 am

38 Responses

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  1. We are thinking of you and praying with and for you!!!!
    Ps 94:19
    Fuemana Family


    November 10, 2009 at 7:52 am

  2. Thanks Tarnya for setting up this blog and allowing us all the opportunity to share in your family’s journey. I’m sure you will be able to testify to God’s wonderful love, grace, comfort, peace, strength, power, and I pray, His healing too.

    I can only feel stunned today …I can only begin to imagine how Dave, you, the children and the wider family feel.
    We know that the best thing we can do is pray for you all – so please know that is exactly what Joce, myself and the kids are, and will be doing.

    Know also that the Takanini Church family are surrounding you in love and prayers. We will share your joy and sorrows, walk the mile and bear the load with you.
    We pray that God’s grace will be sufficient (2 Corinthians 12:9) and we know that your suffering will not be worth comparing with God’s glory that is to be revealed (Romans 8:18).

    We love you guys heaps and will serve you in any way we can – just let us know.
    Love from the Schäches,
    Garry & Joce, Colton, Mitchell, Jordan, Bonnie, Candice, Harlan & Dillon.


    November 10, 2009 at 9:43 am

  3. May the God of all peace bless you with peace; with courage and wisdom; with his strong presence and care. We love you and stand with you in this.
    Noelle and Russell


    November 10, 2009 at 11:22 am

  4. What nasty news to receive! I am praying fervently for you – I hope the Lord is very near to you at this time.


    November 10, 2009 at 11:30 am

  5. We’re so sorry to hear the news. We will be remembering you all in our prayers regularly.
    Jeff, Rhonda and boys

    Jeff and Rhonda Walsh

    November 10, 2009 at 12:57 pm

  6. Dear Tarnya,

    Pleased be assured that the world wide Advent Christian family has been called to prayer on behalf of David, you, the children and the Takanini church family. With prayerful concern and hopeful expectation we will follow the situation, trusting in our Lord for his healing and recovery.

    Ron Thomas

    November 10, 2009 at 3:36 pm

  7. You are in our prayers and thoughts. Please let us know if we can help in any way.
    All our love, Wendy and Paul

    Wendy & Paul Goble

    November 10, 2009 at 5:55 pm

  8. we heard your bad news last night, and I guess like everyone are shocked. Especially by the suddeness.

    We will of course be praying for you and your complete recovery at this time, and may you know God’s strength and presence with you through this storm.

    Will be in touch.
    love, Evan & May

    Evan Clulee

    November 10, 2009 at 8:10 pm

  9. My love and prayers to you all. Let me know if there is anything I can do. May God bless you. Lots of love..Tia

    Tia Robinson

    November 10, 2009 at 8:33 pm

  10. Dear Tanya
    I am so sorry to know of David’s illness. Will be joining in prayer for David,you, your family and the church. I pray for healing for David and strength for each day for you.
    ” My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness”


    November 10, 2009 at 9:03 pm

  11. David, Tarnya and family

    We stand with you praying victoriously, for a victorious outcome. We remember past victories and miracles throughout the generations that the Lord has performed and we stand firm believing now! 1 Chron:9-12
    To HIM be all glory, honour and praise.

    Isaiah 41:13
    For I am the LORD, your God, who takes hold of your
    right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.

    God Bless you all
    Pauline Bain and family (home schoolers, Papakura)
    Praying and believing!

    Pauline Bain

    November 10, 2009 at 9:18 pm

  12. I know that all of us who read this news will feel that same shock and my heart goes out to you all.

    One truth to remember is that although it’s like you have reached a cross-road and many things block our view of what may be around the corner, God is waiting around the corner for each of you. He will not let you down. He is prepared even when we are not, whatever our situation. I still forget that sometimes, but my prayer for each of you is that this will be a bouy to hold on to through the storm.

    My love to you,

    Sharon Josephson

    November 10, 2009 at 10:20 pm

  13. Dear David and Tarnya

    Leonie Ireland called us to let us know of David’s illness. None of us know what lies around the corner do we, but we have that assurance that our great God and Saviour has all things under His mighty control and that this Luekemia has not taken Him by suprise. We know that His purposes will be fulfilled over the next moths in all your lives.

    It is just over 8years since Alyson was called home. we can very much identify with you as to the enormity of what is ahead for you with chemo and lots of hospital visits.

    We will certainly be keeping you all in prayer.

    James 1:1-4 and particularly verse 12 ” Blessed is the man who remains steadfaast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love Him.

    With His love
    Lester and RAewynne

    Lester & Raewynne

    November 10, 2009 at 10:59 pm

  14. If you’d like to receive an email when new items are added to this blog click on the link below. Please note: you must reply to the email requesting confirmation of your subscription request. It might be in your spam/junk folder.


    (Tarnya will add a proper link later, this is a temporary measure to get the link up as quickly as possible)

    If you’d like to see photos of David and the kids go to http://mandenomoments.com/burgelets


    November 10, 2009 at 11:21 pm

  15. Hi Tarnya and David
    We are stunned to hear your sad news and i (Nicky) spent many restless moments last night in prayer for you. We will continue to pray.
    “And now may the God of peace, who brought agian from the dead our Lord Jesus, equip you with all you need for doing his will”. Hebrews 13:20
    “The eyes of the Lord watch over those who do right: his ears are open to their cries for help” Psalm 34:15 (What an awesome picture of the Lord opening his ears to your cries for help!)
    With much love to you all
    David and Nicky Waddell

    nicky waddell

    November 12, 2009 at 6:23 am

  16. Dear Tarnya, David, and family,
    When the news of your illness came I was stunned. You folks are so dear to us and the work of the Kingdom, not only in New Zealand, but around the world. Your Advent Christian family across the planet is praying for you. May our Lord Jesus touch all of you in powerful and wonderful ways. We love you and stand by you.

    Love in Him,

    Clio and Kathleen

    Clio Thomas

    November 12, 2009 at 10:03 am

  17. Dear Tarnia and David,
    We are so sorry to hear your news and want you to know that you and the children are in our thoughts and prayers. I like what Lester and Raewynne wrote, “that our great God and Saviour has all things under His mighty control and that this luekemia has not taken Him by surprise”… what a comfort we have in knowing that nothing happens to us that he doesn’t know about before it happens. Glad to hear your sight has improved David and that you are feeling better.
    May the Lord bless and keep you both,
    Christine and Melly

    Melly and Christine

    November 12, 2009 at 2:25 pm

  18. Dear David and Tarnya, we are so sorry to hear your news. We are praying for you that the Peace of God will uphold you as a family during these days.
    Craig and Barbara


    November 12, 2009 at 7:43 pm

  19. Dear Dave and Tanya,

    Lindsay just forwarded the news of Dave’s condition with the website location. We are sorry to hear the news, but we trust that you will soon be back in the pulpit again. In the meantime, we trust that the Lord will intervene and care for both of you and the children. We know He has a plan for these difficult circumstances even though we may not understand what it is. We love you all and will be remembering you in prayer.

    Don and Ruby

    Isaiah 41:10

    Fear not, for I am with you;
    Be not dismayed, for I am your God.
    I will strengthen you,
    Yes, I will help you,
    I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’

    Don and Ruby Coop

    November 13, 2009 at 1:05 pm

  20. In June, I too was diagnosed with Leukemia (AML),and spent the next few months in Waikato Hospital having chemo while my eldest daughter held the fort at home. (We live several hours away). I am in remission now and finished treatment about six weeks ago. I just wanted to say I am thinking of you all and to testify to the goodness of God throughout the whole experience. We wanted for nothing.

    During my first round of treatment a friend sent me Psalms 91 and it helped get me through the fear and uncertainty of the whole experience – especially during the neutropenic stage and when people were dying or getting sick around me.

    I will be praying that this will be a positive experience for you all. A lot of good came out of my illness and I hope the same for you both your family.


    Wendy Hickman

    November 13, 2009 at 3:16 pm

  21. Dear David, Tarnya and family,
    What a shock to hear of your news and situation. I do not know what to say except that our great God knows and has you in the hollow of His almighty hand. May you know His peace, comfort and presence at all times and that all your need will be supplied by Him. Remembering you in prayer as you walk this journey together with the Lord at your side.
    Regards and blessings, Grant


    November 13, 2009 at 9:05 pm

  22. Hi David and Tarnya, Nely, Fe and Reniel have all asked me to convey to you their personal best wishes and assurance of prayer on your behalf and also that you are being remembered in prayer by the whole OBC family.


    November 16, 2009 at 8:20 pm

  23. David and Tarnya,

    We’re thinking of you on this side of the ditch and keeping you in our prayers.

    Sydney, Australia

    Stephen Cook

    November 16, 2009 at 8:26 pm

  24. David & Tarnya,

    Thinking of you all very much at this time. So sad to hear the news. Will keep praying for you.Take care,
    Lots of love
    Wayne & Nicky

    Wayne & Nicky Preston

    November 19, 2009 at 8:22 pm

  25. Hi David – I am not sure if a prayer from a liberal is a positive or a negative – but nevertheless you are in my thoughts and prayers. Although I know you are surrounded by great friends and a wonderful family, I guess you will being calling on all your reserves to see you through the next stage of the battle. Of course if you are seriously ill it might be a good time to challenge you to a game of chess! Hang in there. All the best Bill and family.

    Bill Peddie

    November 24, 2009 at 9:21 pm

    • The chemo hasn’t affected my chess yet, but I will let you know!


      November 26, 2009 at 11:24 am

  26. Hi guys. Lovely to see you and the kids yesterday.

    No doubt I’ll put something in writing on http://spritzophrenia.wordpress.com at some point.

    Have a great New Year

    Jonathan 🙂


    December 31, 2009 at 10:33 am

  27. […] it is to carry a little cash for such emergencies (which we did have). I was reminded of when Dave first went to the emergency eye clinic and we had Ruth with us. It was an all day event: GP to eye clinic and then on to Middlemore. I had […]

  28. My love and prayers are specifically toward each one of you, as your personal needs are so very varied. May God in his wisdom supply for body, heart and soul,and may He show you His favour and covering. This is my first at adding to anyones BLOG! I may be in the older age bracket but I try to keep up with the times. May the new year bring MIRACLES. From Juliette.

    Juliette Urquhart

    January 4, 2010 at 4:33 pm

  29. Hi Dave,
    I’m sorry for not getting in touch with you until now… I just didn’t know what to say and still don’t… Please know that I’ve taken alot from you messages & encouragement over the years…

    God be with you mate

    lewis bacon

    January 7, 2010 at 12:13 pm

  30. Dear David,

    I am a post bone marrow transplant patient. I am praying for you. Jesus is our healer. Our hope in Him is abundant.

    “Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.” Romans 15:13


    David Ting

    January 8, 2010 at 3:48 pm

  31. […] you David Ting . I have linked to your blog on the sidebar of this blog. Often when I swallow I am reminded of his […]

  32. We are praying too…


    Bruce Taylor

    March 26, 2010 at 12:40 pm

  33. Dear David,

    You and the family are constantly on our minds in in the prayers of all of us here in Charlotte, NC, USA. We read every update with the hope for improvement. Thank you for allowing us to journey with you through this time in your life.

    Your Friend,

    Ron Thomas

    Ron Thomas

    April 23, 2010 at 5:23 am

  34. Dear Pastor David
    I stumbled upon your blog thro David’s Healed Blogspot.com and however, I lost my little bro thro leukamia in 1980 in my blog memory of little bro Ming in housewife9988.wordpress.com/
    Thus, I knew the pain of the leukamia patient & family ppl.
    However, take black beans and pig bones for supplement and nutritions. Hope it will help. As I read from chinese newsppr one year after my bro’s death.


    May 22, 2010 at 2:26 am

  35. Hi Dave…. We continue to pray for you and the family along with the MANY others who are, also, and given the recent news of perhaps? less time, I have prayed and debated long on whetherto fly up and see you. We have both lost that connection we had when we were younger as we have journeyed lifes varied roads and i feel it somewhat hypocritical to suddenly rush to see you now and for what… to make chit chat, (awkward!) to reminise( We can do that thru this blog, and I will post some of my memories in future days), to pray (I can do that anywhere), But I dont get to see your new ‘kojak’ look! :(.Limited time here for you means nothing really- for we are both assured that this life on earth is but a temporary and very minute part of the far greater life we will go on to enjoy, and in the light of eternity, We will have all the TIME in the world to ‘reconnect’ and catch up on all the many aspects of each others lives we have missed out on since we were children!!. So… I feel no pressure in rushing to see you before its too late so to speak, and rather think that it may be more helpful to you and Tarnya if I send you the price of my plane ticket, rather than me come up there and make small talk for an hour or two.Please use the money to create a happy memory for you and Tarnya, and or the children.I do look forward to catching up with you sometime in the future`and be assured of our love and concern for you and all the family.Alison, James, Emma, Fehran and Abbey.

    kitchin klan

    June 1, 2010 at 2:40 pm

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