How Strong Are You?



Have you been tested?  Did you stand up to the test?  How old were you when you were tested and found out how strong you are?

I was twenty years old, the mother of two little boys, abandoned by their father and no way to support my children when I found out how strong I could be.

These are things running around in my mind today.

It all started when my cousin (first cousin 2x removed for those of you who want the technicalities)messaged me that his daughter had a bump at the base of the spine and he was taking her to a doctor to have it seen about.  I began praying that it would be simple and easily fixed.  Then my cousin messaged me that the doctor thought it was a pilonidal cyst but wanted someone else to give a second opinion so they were taking Ariel to Children’s in Little Rock.  More prayer, and a bit of dread for what this little girl might have to go through. But hey, a pilonidal cyst is a simple thing and easily fixed so it seemed things would be all right.

No, no, no, it is not that simple and it is not all right.  After scans, biopsy, and more scans we now know that this little girl has a yolk sac tumor attached to the coccyx and trailing down through her lower abdomen and wrapped around her pelvis.  The scans also show a spot on each lung and one on the liver.  She begins chemo today, Tuesday, September 06, 2016, and she is about to find out how strong she is.  How old is she as she finds out how strong she is?  She is four years old.

This is an average family, not poverty stricken but not wealthy.  The dad, my cousin Chris, is a firefighter, EMT, and first responder for the Pocahontas, Arkansas fire department and also works a job as an EMT on an ambulance.  He supports his family but doesn’t make enough to absorb the extra expense that this illness will cause.  Please, if you have extra to give, consider helping this family at this devastating time in their lives.  A fund has been set up at Paypal so if you have a Paypal account you can donate through that here:  the link to PayPal is  and there is also an account at the local bank. The bank account is set up at Integrity First Bank in Pocahontas.  The phone number for the bank is  870-892-5286, and the name on the account – Christopher Smith.  The sub-name is Ariel Smith Medical Expense Account.

Remember, this darling little girl is four-years-old.