In 2018, Smyrna began to experience headaches and nausea, at first once a week, then nearly every day.
Initially, a neurologist thought Smyrna was suffering from migraines, but even medication didn’t help relieve her discomfort.
Smyrna's family took her to the emergency room, where an MRI revealed medulloblastoma, a type of brain cancer.
It's impossible to digest this kind of news.
Smyrna underwent surgery to remove the tumor.
Afterward, her family turned to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee, to continue her care.
Families, like Smyrna's, never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or food.
Smyrna’s treatment included radiation therapy and chemotherapy.
Smyrna is an outgoing, compassionate teen. “Her nature is to help,” said her mom, Akhila. “She always has a smiling face, and she’s always friendly.”
We have a place to stay and families we’ve become friends with. We miss home, but we’re grateful and thankful for St. Jude.
Last year, Smyrna celebrated the end of her treatment with a No More Chemo Party, surrounded by her care team, friends and family.
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