‘Fierce’ 21-month-old Zoey battles leukemia

With just five days before giving away our 10th St. Jude Dream Home, we are reminded of how important a role the children’s hospital plays in the lives of children battling cancer.

One of those kids, 21-month-old Zoey Smith of Hazel, Kentucky, was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Her mom, Whitney Smith, shared some of her journey with us Tuesday.

“She literally is a diva. Literally. When’s she’s not sick she’s feisty, and she’s fierce,” Whitney said. On Aug. 17, Zoey was taken to the doctor for what her mom thought was just an ear infection. After antibiotics for 10 days and a few tests, doctor’s determined on Sept. 5 that Zoey had cancer.

Within days, they brought Zoey to St. Jude. Zoey’s days include chemotherapy, blood transfusions, and test after test. That’s a lot for a little girl, but Whitney says she’s in good hands. “’It’s the happiest sad place ever,’ is how I describe it, because everybody here is so happy,” Whitney said.

Aside from the top-notch medical care at St. Jude, Whitney says support is coming from all over. Areas include Murray, Paducah, even other states like Oklahoma and California.

“Knowing that there are people out there that we don’t know who care enough about our daughter to support us just fantastic. It really is,” Whitney said. She says her daughter is in the best age range for a successful outcome. “This isn’t going to beat us. I mean, cancer can’t beat us.”

Whitney says Zoey is battling colitis and a virus. She’s actually getting outpatient treatment now and will undergo another round of chemotherapy in a couple of weeks. The treatment is expected to take about two and a half years together.

There is a fundraiser for Zoey on Oct. 24 at 5 p.m. at the Jitterbugs Dance Hall and Arcade. Whitney says giving to St. Jude means just as much.

To follow Zoey’s progress, you can like Zoey’s support Facebook page.

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