Cancer survivor explains how giving blood saved her life

By Whitney Grunder - bio | email

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) – Doctors said she wouldn't survive, but 18-month-old Emily Smith proved them wrong.

Eight years later, a Nacogdoches girl lives to tell her story.

Now 10-years-old, Emily shows off her collection of angels.

Each holds a special meaning of hope for the young Cancer survivor.

At 18-months, she was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma, a Cancer that attacks the nerves.

"They gave her no chance, no chance for survival. She was 90 percent full of cancer. I was told to call a priest," said Emily's mother, Mary Smith.

Mary refused to give up, and kept fighting. After a year long journey, Mary says a miracle took place. Emily's tumor was shrinking, and eventually removed.

Before her second birthday, Emily was well-enough for a life saving stem cell transplant.

"She cured herself," said Mary. "They were able to take her bone marrow, her blood, her plasma, cleaned it, and stored it back in her body."

"I was young and I don't remember but I think I still know that I'm a miracle because my mom's been pretty much bragging about that," said Emily.

Cancer free, they share Emily's story, encouraging others to donate blood.

"It was blood that saved her life. So that's why I give to save others, others lives. You don't want to hear another child has passed from Cancer, or an adult," said Mary.

"It'll save people's lives and they'll be happy and live happily ever after," added Emily.

The gift of life is one blessing the Smith family says they will never take for granted.

If you'd like to help make a difference in a life of someone like Emily, here's your chance. KTRE is sponsoring a blood drive for East Texans on October 21st. From noon until six o'clock, you can give blood at the Gaslight Brookshire Brothers in Lufkin and at Fresh Market on University Drive in Nacogdoches.

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