Emma Grace Smith

Update posted by Emma Smith On Nov 22, 2015

Emma is doing well, all considered. She goes to school every morning for half days, and now has a full time Educational Assistant to help her - this is a great boon for her as we felt she needed to continue with this social aspect of her life, and maintain contact with her friends.

Despite her continued poor health Emma remains positive to help out as best she can with fundraising activities. We have attended Cops for Cancer events, and she got a rapturous response when she was presented to the Tour de Rock riders at her school (see https://www.facebook.com/emmagracesmith2003/videos...).

Recently Emma has been a focus of a media fundraising event for a local charity Help Fill A Dream which helps families like ours with financial aid and dream trips. Partnered with a local supermarket chain Country Grocer, HFAD hope to raise $50,000 with this campaign. HFAD have also asked Emma and her brother Charlie to take part in two Christmas Parades - in Victoria and Sydney BC, and they are very eager to do so.

Although Emma is doing great, we are financially struggling as a family. Emma needs constant supervision which continues to make it hard for her father to go away for work (he works on ships around the world). He had hoped to find work over the coming holiday season (though hated the thought of being away over Christmas for obvious reasons), but due to unforeseen circumstances with his own health he is unable to do so.

This has put an enormous strain on us as we are desperate for a injection of funds. We are now in the fourth year on this nightmare cancer journey, and each month it becomes harder to cope.

Once again we ask our new and old friends to please help us to maintain a roof over Emma's head and to provide for quality of life expenses. You are all that has kept our heads above water for the last three years, and we very much appreciate all donations!

Love to you all.







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Update posted by Emma Smith On Aug 07, 2015

We are still here!

Emma has stabilised somewhat after taking her chemotherapy since December 2014. In fact as soon as she started taking the drug her energy level seemed to increase. The chemo has not decreased the tumour though. It has stopped the spread of the cancer in her spine, but Emma is still unable to walk properly or for any distance (she gets about the house if she can hold onto supports).

Emma managed to go back to school for the latter part of the academic year. We thought this was important for her to be around her peers, rather than with her sad parents all day long. Emma loved it of course.

Darrell managed to get a couple of short work trips in earlier in the year while Emma was medically stable, but has now resigned himself to not being able to work for the foreseeable future. This is of course a serious concern for us as we endeavour to keep things as normal as possible for Emma.

We are in the middle of the school summer holidays and try to keep Emma occupied. She is getting some visits from friends, but is largely stuck in the house, which she finds very frustrating. Day trips out of the house are great fun, but cost money so we have to be selective with what we do.

But we try to have fun! It is always lovely to hear Emma laugh. x





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Update posted by Emma Smith On Dec 03, 2014

Well it has been a slog to get this far but Emma's platelets are at a good enough level to start chemotherapy. It has taken a long time for the platelets to recover from the little radiation therapy she was able to have.

In the meantime Emma's contition has slowly but surely worsened. She is not now able to walk unaided. This is very diffcult for Emma to bear and for us to watch. We have had to install a stair lift to enable her to get out of the house, and other aids to help her lot. Some days her vision gets very blurred and headaches are becoming more frequent.

We all try to stay upbeat and positive, but it is very hard to maintain at times, especially when Emma herself is down.

Chemotherapy will hopefully start on 4th December.

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Update posted by Emma Smith On Oct 05, 2014

Two years to the day since Emma was diagnosed with a brain tumour we are once again given some dreaded and devastating news.

Emma had been sick for much of the summer, including having a bout of meningitis. As part of the tests to find out what was ailing her an MRI of her body found the worst possible news. Emma has relapsed with tumours in her spine.

Her family were just about getting over the financial repercussions of the first cancer fight in 2012. Once again her father is unable to work in order to help Emma. And once again we find ourselves asking the GGF community for help. 

Please help if you can.

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Update posted by Emma Smith On Aug 17, 2013

Huge news yesterday.

We met with Emma's oncologist at BC Children's Hospital and were shown the MRI scan images from back in October and from a couple of days ago. The solid mass that had previously been oh so evident in Emma's brain is now a much smaller cyst containing only fluid. The cancer has been irradicated!

As you can imagine, tears flowed and there were a few hugs given. I think we are still gobsmacked to know that Emma is now cancer free - she has fought her fight with such aplomb and conviction that she would beat it.

But Emma's fight still continues. As the oncologist said, we now have to remain lucky and hope that the cancer does not return (this is a realistic threat). We have to continue to build up Emma's strength and physical well-being, in the process removing the impact that the chemo drugs have had on her body (it is quite ravaged at the moment). Emma will continue to be monitored for quite some time to come, and will remain on some medications for at least another 6 months.

It is sad to say that even at this stage we remain dependent on donations from wellwishers. In fact, this is the time we depend more and more on the good nature of our backers, and rely on a little push to get us through this next little while.

Mind you, we do not want to dwell too much on that issue at the moment, and just want to celebrate Emma and her courageous flight.

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Update posted by Emma Smith On Aug 15, 2013

Emma is 10 today (Wednesday 14th August).

We were in Ronald McDonald House, though with no procedures today at the hospital. We had a really nice relaxed day, with presents and cards being given first thing in our room. Lunchtime Emma was given an icecream birthday cake and celebrated with most of the house residents. 

Emma and her mother met up with a couple of Emma's friends downtown in Vancouver for an early dinner. They then they headed off to see Selena Gomez at Rogers Arena with great complimentary tickets from Starlight Children's Foundation Canada.
A fun day for Emma, something to take her mind off things. We will be back to earth with a bump on Thursday. Emma had an MRI scan on Tuesday, and we will have an important meeting with the oncology team to see where Emma stands with regards the cancer now she has completed her radiotherapy and chemotherapy. We are all quite anxious.

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Update posted by Emma Smith On Aug 06, 2013

Thank you everyone for your continued support.

We have been humbled by the donations, and the stories that have come with some of them. Thanks to Dan for posting on the Shire, and the regs for responding (some not for the first time), and for the friend on returning a lost phone to its owner pointed the owner to this fundraiser - and the owner that was good on their word and made a generous donation. Thanks too Kent School ex-students; 30+ years and the education shows! And of course family and friends, and friends of friends. All of you - thank you for your generous natures.

We have been in BC Children's Hospital since 0830 local time. As I write it is 1630, and we still have at least 3-4 hours to go. Emma is currently having a red blood transfusion, and will then follow that with a platelets transfusion. A long day.

But Emma has been given the all clear to attend Camp Goodtimes, so that is a huge thing for Emma and Charlie.

Take care and best regards,

Emma, Charlie, Diane, and Darrell

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Update posted by Emma Smith On Jul 31, 2013

Hello Backers and others,

Emma has had a fantastic day. She was in the hospital again today for a check on her blood counts, and they were holding up sufficiently that she did not need any transfusions. Her neutrophils showed a very slight move upwards, so we are hoping that Emma is passed her lowest point after the last round of chemo. She will be tested again on Thursday.

Shortly after getting home Emma was visited by her grandmother, two great uncles and a great aunt. We had a rather civlised (for us) tea in the back garden, and while the way chatting and catching up. It was a lovely four hours, and the physical improvement in Emma was easy to see after the afternoon progressed. She also made a good impression with one of the uncles who is also having his own cancer issues. Emma's outlook has always been positive, and had gotten on with the business of fighting the cancer in a matter of fact manner - it is impossible not to be impressed with her resolve.

Emma's improvement went through until her bedtime. Her temperature was down, at last, and she remained in good spirits.

Darrell

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Update posted by Emma Smith On Jul 27, 2013

Hello,

Just a quick note to thank the generosity of all the backers that have gotten this fundraiser off to a great start. Hopefully you are receiving the thank you emails. I wish they were more personal, but at the moment we are rushed off our feet (we spent twelve hours in Emma's oncology clinic at our local hospital today, gettting home about 10,30pm).

Please remember that regular updates (usually daily) on Emma's progress can be found at https://www.facebook.com/emmagracesmith2003.

Thank you all once again, and hope you have great weekends.

Darrell Smith

 

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