Family of girl with cancer gets surprise from community

Published: Oct. 15, 2020 at 11:28 PM EDT
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SALUDA COUNTY, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) - In Kayla Smith’s living room, there’s a picture of her two daughters dressed as superheroes. It’s only fitting, since her nine-month-old, Caylie, has been fighting since she was born.

“We found out that she had a brain tumor the size of a lemon on her left cerebellum,” Smith said.

Caylie was diagnosed with embryonal tumors with multilayered rosettes or ETMR. It’s a rare brain cancer found in children. The life expectancy is just six to nine months.

“It’s like a one and one million chance of kids getting it. It’s very, very rare,” Smith said. “He just told us that it has to happen to somebody, and I guess that somebody just happened to be us,”

At just five months old, Caylie had surgery and started chemo. Because of her age, the closest hospital they could go to was in Memphis. They lived in Tennessee for five months.

“Chemo was working. Three months, it worked. And then on the last two rounds, it just quit working,” Smith.

Smith and her husband decided to stop treatment and bring her home.

“There’s nothing else they can do. But we surround ourselves with friends, and we remind ourselves that we get to take her and do stuff now,” Smith said. “We get to make memories with her and Charlie together. Things that they wouldn’t get to do, or they’re not going to get to do,”

She came home to a hero’s welcome. Hundreds lined the road as the family drove down main street.

“It was unbelievable seeing all those people there. Just knowing so many people care about your family and a lot of them have never even met her,” Smith said.

Through prayer and family, they’re hoping for a miracle.

“I guess we’re just hanging on to the fact that we’re hoping that she beats it,” Smith said.

And Caylie is still fighting, because that’s what heroes do.

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