On Tuesday October 11, 2011 Leanne (Chin) was diagnosed with breast cancer. This blog will follow her journey. It will share the peaks and valleys along the way. But it will also serve as a way to communicate prayer requests and praises. Join us as we partner with Chin and fight along side her for she "...can do all things through Christ who strengthens her." Phil. 4:13

When leaving a comment, please sign your name so we know you were here. Thanks!
The meaning behind Chin ... There is a Chinese restaurant in the Twin Cities named Leann Chin. While Leanne was attending a basketball camp in middle school, a fellow camper had a bag from the restaurant. This camper made the connection between the name of the restaurant and Leanne's name. And the nickname Chin stuck!

Monday, December 22, 2014


I sat in church yesterday and was struck by a point made about Jesus' example of enduring suffering and how it relates to our lives. Our culture tells us to suck it up, hide your pain, be strong, and just deal with it. The Bible, however, gives a drastically different picture of how Jesus dealt with suffering and how we should follow His example.

In the book of John, the author tells a story of Jesus' friend, Lazarus, who died. John 11:35 says that, "Jesus wept" over his death. Jesus, who was fully God, knew that Lazarus would be raised from the dead, still wept over the death of his friend. Through the example of Jesus weeping in suffering, I am comforted in the tears I shed over the death of my precious sister.

Just days before his death, Jesus spent considerable time praying to God. Matthew 26:39 says, "And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, "My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will." Knowing the pain and suffering that He was to endure, Jesus prayed and asked God to take it away. But He also prayed to submit to God's will. Through Jesus example of praying in suffering, I am challenged to pray boldly for what I desire to happen, but to also pray for God's will and that I would submit to His plan.

As Jesus hung on the cross, Scripture makes it clear that He was suffering. Jesus didn't hide the pain or pretend everything was ok. Matthew 27:45-46 says, "Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land until the ninth hour. And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, "Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?" that is, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" Jesus was brutally honest with God and cried out to Him. I am comforted to know that I have the privilege of crying out to God in the midst of my suffering and knowing that He hears my prayers.

But the most comforting verse to me in the midst of my suffering and pain is Hebrew 12:2, which says "looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God."

Endured the cross.

Jesus was in excruciating pain. It was unbearable. The Bible does not say that Jesus hung on the cross with a smile on His face and pretended that everything was ok. Nor does it say that He downplayed the pain and refused to show any emotion to those around Him. 

In each of these situations, Jesus suffering was evident to those around Him. He cried out to God. He begged God to take the suffering from Him. He wept over the pain of losing someone He loved dearly. He endured it. He felt every sting of pain and sadness. He experienced the depth of every painful emotion and did not run from it.

So, if you like me, are struggling with real, intense pain and suffering this Christmas, I pray you will endure it as Jesus did. I pray you will not run from the painful emotions of grief. I pray you will cry out to God. I pray you will weep. And most of all, I pray you will ask God for the ability to submit to His will in your suffering. I pray your enduring suffering will cause you to run to Christ and rest in the peace and comfort He offers.

Jesus endured the cross "for the joy set before Him" (Hebrews 12:2). I am not sure what joy will come out of my suffering, but I am confident that God will be faithful to do so. And I have a feeling He will far exceed my expectations in doing so!

Even in the midst of suffering, we celebrate God sending His beloved Son to earth to bring us the hope of eternal life with Him. In your suffering may you find hope and comfort from this song:

He is the song for the suffering
He is Messiah
The Prince of Peace has come
He has come, Emmanuel

 Merry Christmas! May your Christmas be filled with the hope that Jesus brings.

Thursday, November 20, 2014


Six months ago today, I spent the day dreadfully awaiting the worst news of my life. I kept wondering how I could possibly prepare myself for the news there was no way of avoiding. Shortly after Leanne entered her Savior’s arms in heaven at 4:45pm, I received a simple message that read, “She’s gone.”

Those words are forever etched in my brain. I often have to repeat them to myself as I pick up the phone to call or text her. I say them when I picture celebrating future holidays, thinking of my daughter’s weddings, the births of any future nieces or nephews, and any family get together that will be planned. She wont be there. Gone.

As we approach Thanksgiving, our culture reminds us at every turn to be thankful for all we have and for the fullness of our lives.

Thankful for shelter.

Thankful for food.

Thankful for provisions.

Thankful for relationships.

Thankful for health.

All of those things are wonderful, but what if we don’t really feel thankful. Instead we feel let down and discouraged. We feel lost and unsure. We feel empty. We look toward the future wondering will we ever feel full again?

But thankfully, God sovereignly designed a relationship in which “… you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” (Ephesians 3:19) That fullness comes only from Jesus. It is constant, unchanging, and lasting.

God didn’t intend for us to find fullness and satisfaction in the things we have or even in the people He has put in our lives. He intended it to be Him and only Him. He promised us that “You will have suffering in this world.” Boy do we know that! But, thankfully, Jesus also told us in the very next sentence, “Be courageous! I have conquered the world.” (John 16:33) The fact that Jesus has conquered the world is surely something to be thankful for!

In the past 6 months, I have challenged myself to live out the following verse:

“Give thanks in everything, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” Galatians 5:18

I am going to challenge you to do the same this Thanksgiving season. It may be easy for you to look around and be thankful for the abundant food on your table, the family filling your home, the new relationship you are starting, the new life growing inside you, etc. But what if you gave thanks for the hard stuff? What if you thanked God for the cancer journey your family is walking because He is knitting your family closer together than you could have ever imagined? What if you thanked God for your infertility struggles because God is teaching you to trust Him with the way He wants to grow your family? What if you thanked God for the strained relationship with your spouse because He is teaching you how to love others even when you don't feel like it? What if you thanked God for your financial struggles because God is showing you how He can meet all your needs? And this is where it hits home, what if I thanked God for the death of Leanne because He is proving to me that He is close to the brokenhearted and understands my pain because He also watched a loved one die? Every thing in my flesh tells me I shouldn’t be thankful. But God tells me I should.

Whatever trial you are facing today, try choosing a thankful attitude towards it. It just might take your eyes off the problem long enough to help you see that God is teaching you something through it.

As we pray for all of you to choose thankfulness, no matter what the circumstance, we ask that you would continue to pray for us. Here are some specifics:
  • Good, restful sleep for Leo
  • Peace and comfort for our family as we face our first Thanksgiving and Christmas without Leanne
  • Our faith to be strengthened
  • God to continue to show us how Leanne's faith has touched others
  • Strength and trust to choose a thankful attitude in the midst of Leanne's death

Monday, November 3, 2014


All orders for the Leanne's Joy Heart are due by Friday. Here are the details again:

The necklace is sterling silver with an 18 inch chain. The heart is about the size of a nickel.

Each necklace is $73.95, and shipping and handling is included in the price.

If you wish to order, please send cash or check payable to:

Mary Eliasen
17617 George Moran Dr.
Eden Prairie, MN  55347

We are asking that all orders are placed by November 7th to ensure that they will be available in time for Christmas.

If you have any questions or comments, please send an email to leannesjoyheart@gmail.com

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Leanne's Joy Heart

One of the greatest gifts Leanne left us on earth are her journals. 15 years of prayers, encouragement, and insight into her life. At the end of each entry was her signature under a heart with a cross in it. Many of you will recognize this heart as it is in every single letter, note, or card she sent.

Love and Faith. What a perfect symbol of Leanne's legacy. My dad gave my mom, sisters, and I a necklace of her signature heart. We wanted each of you to have the opportunity to have one too!

The necklace is sterling silver with an 18 inch chain. The heart is about the size of a nickel.

Each necklace is $73.95, and shipping and handling is included in the price.

If you wish to order, please send cash or check payable to:

Mary Eliasen
17617 George Moran Dr.
Eden Prairie, MN  55347

We are asking that all orders are placed by November 7th to ensure that they will be available in time for Christmas.

If you have any questions or comments, please send an email to leannesjoyheart@gmail.com

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Another way to help!

Ryan has a friend from high school, Amy Wohlwend, that sells Tupperware. Every October she donates her commissions from her sales to some type of breast cancer fund. This year she is giving her commissions to Leo's college fund. If you are interested in booking a party or placing an order, please go to her website HERE for more info. Thanks so much for helping out!!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Making Strides Against Breast Cancer

A family friend of ours, Jennifer, is walking in the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk in the Twin Cities on October 11th. Jennifer's husband, Ben, was one of Leanne's basketball coach and trainers. She now works for the American Cancer Society.

Jennifer will be walking in honor of Leanne and would love your help raising money for her team, which she named TEAM CHIN after Leanne! Click on the link HERE for her page.

Thanks in advance!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Bryce's Journey

Throughout Leanne's two and a half year cancer journey, there was not one single moment where she made it about her. She hated every single second of the spotlight and attention that was focused on her. She made it her goal to turn the spotlight back to God. She had the blessing of getting to encourage and be encouraged by others fighting the same thing she was up against. She frequently shared the stories of her fellow cancer warriors with us and ALWAYS asked us to partner with them in prayer as she pledged to do the same.

I remember a specific conversation with her about how she was thankful she did not know any kids fighting cancer. I know her heart would be crushed by the story I am about to share with you. Ryan has a friend from high school who has a son battling cancer. 

Bryce. 1 year old. Cancer. Not sure what kind. 

On Wednesday September 17th, Bryce's parents learned he had a large mass in his stomach. On Thursday morning an Oncologist at Children's Hospital in Minneapolis called them and said to pack a suitcase and get on the road.

Check out the link HERE to his Caring Bridge site to find out more. If you click on the journal tab, you will be able to read more of their story.

In honor of Leanne wanting as many people to fight alongside those with cancer, we are asking you to follow this little guy's journey and commit to praying for them. Their Caring Bridge site has specific prayer requests, but as those who have been down this road before please pray for:
  • Wisdom for the Dr's and nurses treating Bryce
  • Strength for Bryce's parents as the watch their son battle cancer
  • God to heal Bryce's body
  • Peace for Bryce's sister, Klare (4), as her world is turned upside down
  • God to sovereignly provide for Bryce and his family

Wednesday, August 20, 2014


On May 20th, we were dumped in the middle of a marathon-like journey. A journey we had never trained for. A journey we had never acknowledged we had the possibility of embarking on. But, we didn't get a choice. God, in all his sovereignty, chose our family for the journey of grief. He knew the time, date, and circumstances in which our family would join this long road of grief. It was not a surprise to Him. But it sure was to us.

I wish I could say that we have just kept claiming the promises of God and it has been a great journey thus far. But I would be lying. 

Grief has been messy. Even ugly at times. 

While the world around us continues to wrestle with war, terrorism, social injustice, disease, racism, evil, hatred, etc just to name a few, we are just trying to get out of bed each morning. We are just clinging to the simple promise that "God will never leave us or forsake us." (Deuteronomy 31:6) 

When we are tempted to think 10 years, 5 years, or even 5 months down the road trying to imagine the future without Leanne, we are just clinging to the promise that God will be with us then.

When we are wondering how we will ever explain to Leo that his mom died when he was just 2 years old and that God is still good, we are just clinging to the promise that God will be with us then.

When we are awake in the middle of the night dealing with intense anger at the fact that we will never get Leanne back, we are just clinging to the promise that God is with us.

When we are walking the road of grief with someone whose loss is fresh and immensely painful, we are just clinging to the promise that God will be with us then.

When we are longing for heaven more than we are longing to stay in this world full of suffering, we are just clinging to the promise that God will be with us then. 

When we are overcome with emotion trying to figure out how to respond when Leo says "Please take mommy's coat off. She will need it when she gets back from heaven", we are just clinging to the promise that God is with us.

When we are walking the breast cancer road again with our GGP (Fran's mom) within two months of Leanne's death, and wanting to cry out to God about how unfair it is, we are just clinging to the promise that God will be with us again.

God is with us. It doesn't feel warm and fuzzy right now. Sometimes it doesn't even feel tangible. But we saw how God faithfully walked with us every single step of the way from October 11, 2011 to May 20, 2014. And we have no doubt that He will not leave us.

In a Bible study my mom and sisters and I are doing, I read a quote about how we don't get through something hard because we are strong, we get through it because we are full of faith. There has not been a single moment in this journey of grief that I have felt strong. And I doubt I will feel that way any time soon. But the Bible says that "His power is made perfect in our weakness" (2 Corinthians 12:9) and I have never been more thankful for that. We can be weak (in our grief) so God's power can be made perfect. Now that is something I can have faith in! 

Please keep praying for us. We need it! Here are some specifics:
  • For our GGP: She has breast cancer and is having a single mastectomy on Thursday August 21. Please pray that surgery is successful and that the Dr's would get all the cancer the first time. Please pray for peace for my GGP and my entire extended family.
  • Continued good sleep for Leo
  • Peace for Ryan and Leo
  • Healthy and God honoring grief for Ryan, Leo and our family

All good blog posts have pics :) So here are some of Leo's night at the Twins Game!


 If you ever have any questions about our faith and would like more info, please email us at teamchinny@gmail.com and we would love to talk more.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Now what ...

Well, its been two months since we started on this journey of grief and loss. We have spent the past two months figuring out what our new normal looks like. We have enjoyed every story we continue to hear about Leanne. We have spent many quiet moments crying as we listen to the music that brought her so much hope and peace. We have spent most of our days thinking of her, wishing we could tell her something, wanting to call her or text her, wishing we could hear her voice, and yearning for heaven.

But enough about us.

What about you? We know you haven't stopped watching. Searching. Trying to find the meaning in all of this. Trying to figure out why we have hope amidst the despair that threatens to overtake us at any given moment.

Leanne's Celebration of Life service has been viewed 832 times. The TEAM CHIN blog has been viewed over 100,000 times in the past two months. That means that each one of those views has seen and heard the gospel clearly preached. Jesus died for your sins. So you can spend eternity in heaven with Him. And Leanne :)

What are you doing about it? Have you made the choice to let Jesus be your Savior? Have you shared the gospel with someone you love because you have seen first hand that tomorrow isn't guaranteed and you can't bear to spend eternity without them? Has your outlook on life been changed by the legacy of faith that Leanne had?

Know that as much as you have been praying for us, we are praying for you as well. Praying that your lives have been radically altered because of the influence of Leanne's life on yours. Praying for each of you to come to know Jesus in a more personal way. Praying that you would continue to share Leanne's story and the hope it holds.

We will not stop praying for you! And we are asking that you will not stop praying for us. Here are some specific requests:

  • Praise! Leo has been sleeping better at night. But please keep asking God to continue giving Leo the rest he needs
  • Strength for Ryan 
  • Continued comfort for Ryan, Leo, and the White & Miller families
  • Peace for the White family
  • God to continue to be glorified in how Leanne's life is shared

 Lastly, I'll leave you with a pic of this sweet redhead :)


If you ever have any questions about our faith and would like more info, please email us at teamchinny@gmail.com and we would love to talk more.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Thank You!

There is no way that we could ever thank each and every one of you for the love, support, and generosity you have shown in the past 7 weeks. But, here is our attempt in the thank you note we sent out from our family.


Please keep praying for us! Here are some specific requests:
  • Consistent, restful sleep for Leo
  • Energy for Ryan
  • God's comfort for the Ryan, Leo, and the White & Miller families
  • God to continued to be glorified in how we share Leanne's story
  • Peace for our grieving hearts

If you ever have any questions about our faith and would like more info, please email us at teamchinny@gmail.com and we would love to talk more.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

An update

Well, it has been 5 weeks. 5 weeks since we were exposed to a pain so deep we didn't know it even existed. 5 weeks that have flown by and yet at the same time, have been the longest 5 weeks of our lives. 5 weeks since we said good bye.

But, 5 weeks of experiencing God's comfort every minute of every day. 5 weeks of laughing and crying as we remember Leanne often. 5 weeks of seeing the AMAZING ways Leanne was touching lives and sharing God's hope with those around her.

I can't wait to share those stories with you soon!

But for now, I want to let you all know that we are doing ok. To quote a message I recently listened to "We are sorrowful, but not driven to despair." Sorrowful doesn't even seem to explain the level of sadness we feel. But even in that sorrow, we are not driven to despair because of Jesus. We have life in Him and hope in our future with Him. And I can say at least for myself, that is what gets me through those tough moments of sadness. Hope.

If you want to listen to the message, check it out HERE. Next to the title of the message, Opposition, you will see a set of headphones or a video camera. Click on either depending if you want to watch the message or just listen to the audio.

We would love for you to please keep us in your prayers. Here are some specifics:

  • Consistent, good sleep for Leo 
  • Energy for Ryan
  • God to continue to comfort Ryan, Leo, the White family, and the Miller family
  • God to continue to glorify Himself through Leanne's story
  • Healthy, God honoring grief for all those who lost Leanne
If you ever have any questions about our faith and would like more info, please email us at teamchinny@gmail.com and we would love to talk more.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Music from the Celebration

Several people have asked for the music we had at Leanne's Celebration of Life service. Here they are:

You're Beautiful by Phil Wickham
Build You're Kingdom Here by Rend Collective
10,000 Reasons by Matt Redman
Great I Am by New Life Worship
Desert Song by Hillsong
Alive by Hillsong Young and Free
Wake by Hillsong Young and Free

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

1 hour and 47 minutes

That is how much of your time I am asking for today. I promise it will be well spent!

1 hour and 47 minutes of laughter, tears, and glory given to God for the work He is doing through Leanne's story.

1 hour and 47 minutes of celebrating! Celebrating Leanne's life. Celebrating the end of her pain. Celebrating her unshakable faith. Celebrating her death on earth, but the start of Leanne's eternal life with her Savior, Healer, and Father.

Set aside your nap time. Set aside your to do list. Set aside whatever you have going on. You won't regret it!

Praying you are encouraged to live your life as Leanne did. Fully devoted to glorifying God in all she did.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Stories ...

Over the past two weeks we have heard several stories from you about ways Leanne has touched your life.

We heard from someone Leanne drove to school. She shared how Leanne stood up for her when someone was making fun of her and taught her to have confidence in the choices she was making.

We heard from another young mom with cancer Leanne met at chemo. She shared with us how Leanne's faith inspired her to have hope in Jesus no matter news cancer brings her way.

We heard from students Leanne taught. They shared how she was their favorite teacher and how she blessed their lives.

We have received countless cards with thoughtful messages. Some have brought us to tears.

These stories and messages have encouraged our hearts more than words can say. They have brought a lot of comfort and laughter in the midst of the pain. They help the life and legacy of Leanne live on.

We are asking you to please keep sharing these stories with us!!! Please email them to teamchinny@gmail.com or mail them to:

The White Family
17639 George Moran Dr
Eden Prairie, MN   55347

Once again, if you ever have any questions about our faith and would like more info, please email us at teamchinny@gmail.com and we would love to talk more.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Many Thanks!

Ryan, Leo, and their families feel incredibly blessed by your generosity. Thanks so much for praying for us over the past week and a half. Thanks for sending thoughtful cards and notes. They have provided much comfort and encouragement. Thanks for sending donations to Leo's college fund! At this rate, he will be attending medical school! :)

While we are adjusting to a new normal around here, we continue to ask for prayer. Please be praying for:

  • Peace for Ryan and Leo
  • Leo to fall asleep quickly at bed time and nap time
  • Wisdom for Ryan in parenting
  • Comfort for Ryan, Leo, the White family, and the Miller family
If you ever have any questions about our faith and would like more info, please email us at teamchinny@gmail.com and we would love to talk more.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Celebration Slideshow

We wanted to share this slideshow from Leanne's celebration of life! Enjoy!

Friday, May 23, 2014

Donating to Leo

Wanted to share with everyone the details of what has been set up for Leo. Ryan set up a college savings account for Leo. In lieu of flowers, we are asking that you donate to Leo's college savings account. Please write checks to Ryan Miller.

Please send donations to:

Ryan Miller
17639 George Moran Dr.
Eden Prairie, MN  55347

There will also be a place to give donations at the visitation.


Thursday, May 22, 2014

Prayers for Leo

We are coming before you and asking for prayers for Leo. Please pray for:

  • Peace amidst all the chaos
  • GOOD SLEEP!!! (Haven't we been praying that since his birth?!?!?)
  • Health and relief from his coughing

Wednesday, May 21, 2014


Leanne has some wonderful friends from her Mom's Connect group. They have set up a way to compile memories of Leanne for Ryan, Leo, and their families. Please read below and do it today!!!

Our sweet Leanne is with Jesus celebrating her completely healed body.  Peace Officer Mamas (her Mom’s group) had the honor of walking this cancer journey with her, praying each step of the way, watching her become a mother to Leo, studying God’s Word together and becoming amazing friends.  We would like to celebrate Leanne by putting together stories, pictures and videos as treasured memories for Leo to enjoy. 

There are 3 ways…

1.    You can bring printed images, memories and stories to the visitation and funeral where we will have an area set up for you to add them to our 8 ½ x 11 memory book collection. 
2.     You can email photos, videos, typed out memories or stories to rememberleannemiller@gmail.com 
      For Instagram users upload photos with #rememberleannemiller

3.    You can stop by our video booth at the visitation and funeral to record your message, memory or story.  


Thank you! Thank you for the outpouring of love and support through food :) While we are so thankful for the body of believers who are serving in this way, we ask that you refrain from bringing any food until next week. Our fridge is full!!!! Trust me, there will be plenty of opportunities to feed Ryan, Leo, and the White & Miller families. Thank you!!!!!!