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Facebook prayer page gives toddler's family hope

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Addison Compton (photo courtesy of www.facebook.com/PrayersforAddisonC) Addison Compton (photo courtesy of www.facebook.com/PrayersforAddisonC)
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ATLANTA -

You might use Facebook to show off your kids, or maybe post a few vacation photos.  But a growing number of families are using it for something they desperately need: Hope.  Prayer pages are popping up all over Facebook, and they've exploded in popularity.

One of those families belongs to Addison Compton.  The 2-year-old is fighting for her life in a battle against a rare form of brain cancer that is usually found only in adults.  She's undergoing chemotherapy at the AFLCA Cancer Center at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta.

According to Addison's mom, Samantha, her 2-year-old is the strongest person she knows.  And right now, Addison has to be strong.  Doctors can't really give the family a prognosis—because they don‘t know it.  

The one thing the Comptons do know is that they aren't alone.  Addison has thousands of "prayer warriors" on her Prayers for Addison Facebook page.  

"When she's having a bad day or something, and I can go on there and post, ‘Addison is sick, she's having a bad day,'" said Samantha.  

And when she does, right away, she gets prayers for people who love her— and people she doesn't know all over the world.

"It's kind of like they're walking the walk with you, even though they don't know you," Addison's mom explained.

You've probably heard of or read about lots of families who tell the same story of support from strangers.  The parents of Ryan LaSource, a Mississippi 6-month-old, started a page for him as he battles leukemia.  And closer to home here in Georgia, the Tripp Halstead Updates page has almost 770,000 likes, many of them from people who are constantly praying for the Winder toddler.

On Monday afternoon, we posted a preview of this story on our FOX 5 Atlanta Facebook page, along with a photo of Addison.  At that time, Prayers of Addison had over 800 likes.  Just two hours later, it had more than 2,000—all from people who are praying for the Rome toddler during the fight of her life.  
 
At Children's Healthcare, child life specialist Molly Wilson says CarePages and prayer pages give families a place to share their journey, and feel less alone.

"But it can be very difficult to be that parent, where they don't know anybody else who is going through this, especially in that initial diagnosis phase, where they haven't connected with anybody else," Wilson explained.  "It can be very isolating."

Sometimes, Samantha Compton asks for prayers for herself.   If she's having a bad day, she says she posts and asks for prayers, and like clockwork, they come.  

Surveys show up to 90 percent of American say they pray.  There hasn't been a lot of research done into whether prayer can make a difference in healing, but Samantha says Prayers for Addison helps her family face a battle she believes no family should have to fight.

LINK: PRAYERS FOR ADDISON FACEBOOK PAGE

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