By SARAH MCLAUGHLIN
A Father’s love shines through
‘A Letter to Marganie’
At 5 years old, Marganie Dumas was diagnosed with leukemia, and the journey God brought her family through displays His sovereignty and grace. Now, more than a decade after her diagnosis, her father, Russ Dumas, has published a book about her story to bear testimony to the power of giving that blessed their family. (Marganie is now 19 and a sophomore at Mississippi State University.)
In an interview with MCL, Russ explained how God led him to write the book, and how God brought his family through a journey they never imagined. When Marganie was diagnosed, the Dumas family’s life was turned upside down.
Their schedules were busy and full, with sports, church, school and homework. In the midst of the uncertainty, Russ remembers how he got through: “My faith and belief in God, my family, my friends, and complete strangers — that’s how I got through everything.”
There were so many times during Marganie’s cancer battle when complete strangers came into the Dumases’ lives — praying for them, helping them, supporting them and walking alongside them. It was moments like these, Russ said, that truly shaped his family’s journey and gave them a sense of God’s presence in the middle of a trial.
Russ knew he wanted Marganie to have a way of remembering this time in her life, so he wrote a book called “A Letter to Marganie” to record everything. The book tells nine beautiful stories of how strangers and friends blessed the Dumas family with kindness. Through that kindness, Russ said, “Even in the darkness, I knew she was going to make it. I kept telling myself, ‘Everything’s going to be OK.’”
Today, Russ fondly remembers that time: “I’m 56 and I wish I could live to be 156, but that’s not enough time to pay back all the goodness that came our family’s way.”
It was out of his desire to give back that he published “A Letter to Marganie” and developed his brand, EGBO: Everything’s Gonna be Ok. The book gives light to those who are walking through their own battles, and EGBO is the basis for a care package Russ sends to those in need, including EGBO-branded T-shirts, skullcaps, cups, hand sanitizer and more. The book — which has a picture Marganie drew with the words “a gift from God” on the cover — and the EGBO slogan are ways he continues to serve others today.
Russ said that, “I realized one day I’m going to stand before God and He’s going to say, ‘You wasted a lot of time when you could have been out there doing something.’ And I realized that serving’s going to be there until the day I die.” Ultimately, the book serves as a loving testimony of not only Russ’s love for Marganie, but also of our Father’s love for us.
“A Letter to Marganie” is available to purchase via Amazon, iTunes, Barnes & Noble, and egbosmiles.com.
Sarah McLaughlin is a senior at Mississippi College, and plans to graduate with a B.A. in English education. She attends Pinehaven Presbyterian Church in Clinton. You’ll often find her reading, listening to vinyl records, and drinking coffee.