Summer Smith, Sunshine Coast
Age: 3 years old
Summer. She is her name.
Sunshine enters the room with her, and she smiles with ease.
But a very rare, painful disease, growing at the base of her throat, threatens that smile and tries to steal her sunshine.
Summer has Rhabdomyosarcoma, a word that shouldn’t even enter her vocabulary at the young age of 3. Busy and active, Summer was just like her peers, until she started losing weight, having upper respiratory problems and what doctors thought was asthma and tonsillitis.
Her sunlight started to dim.
Cancer. The word every parent fears most.
“I went into complete shock and couldn’t process what was happening. My happy, bubbly and active child who has had a healthy lifestyle is sick.” Says April, Summer’s mother.
The oncology team at the Queensland Children’s Hospital are working hard to shrink the mass found at the base of her tongue, and the back of her throat, through grueling, repetitive rounds of chemotherapy and radiation, to be followed by an intricate and dangerous surgery. With her most recent Christmas memory being that of sinking into a coma and learning of her diagnosis, Summer’s family were able to find comfort, home and respite with Childhood Cancer Support.
Summer awoke from her coma on Boxing Day and the Oncology Services Group began chemotherapy immediately.
She is currently undertaking intensive protocol chemotherapy treatments on a weekly basis that is expected to last approximately 12 months.
“My home at Childhood Cancer Support is a safe place to land”
They’ve created a home within the healing and peaceful rooms of Childhood Cancer Support. It makes life flow easier and the hurdles of the day seem more conquerable.
“It’s exhausting to constantly be vigilant with food preparation, going to appointments and of hygiene when going in public. My home at Childhood Cancer Support is a safe place to land after appointments and hospital stays,” April said.
Summers family has grown, to include a new set of peers at Childhood Cancer Support, fighting the same battles as she is.
“The support of those families fighting the same battles is something really special, we have gained an extended family,” April said.
As Summer undergoes chemotherapy in preparation for her upcoming surgery, she continues to light up every room, inhabit a sweet sense of humour, look to the future, and dream of growing up to help others like they have helped her.
At a young age, Summer has a dream of becoming a nurse.
Your generous donation today will continue to bring comfort to families like Summer’s.
Please consider making a donation to put the heart in our homes and keep the sunshine in little lives like Summer.