Fundraiser planned for 4-year-old fighting cancer

Fundraiser planned for 4-year-old fighting cancer (Image 1)

A fundraiser will be held this weekend in Murfreesboro for a four-year-old girl battling a rare form of cancer.

Doctors at Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt diagnosed Leah Smallwood with Stage 4 nueroblastoma, a cancerous tumor mostly found in children under the age of five, the day before Valentine's Day, February 13.

A fever and abdominal pain led doctors to X-ray her abdomen, revealing the tumor.

Leah's father, Mike Smallwood, told Nashville's News 2 the tumor had already begun to spread to the joints of her spine.

He explained, “She complained about her belly hurting a little bit, so mom felt her belly and found a spot in her belly.”

Leah is receiving chemotherapy treatments every three weeks.  She'll also undergo stem cell transplants, surgery to remove the tumor and radiation treatments.

“If everything kind of goes as planned, we're looking at a 13 [to] 14 month long ordeal,” Mike Smallwood said.

For now, the Smallwood family is taking in every minute of every day.

“You're worried about this or that but once you find out something like this, stuff doesn't matter no more,” Smallwood said, “you just want to spend time [together].”

A car wash and bake sale will be held in the parking lot of the K-Mart located at 1266 Northwest Broad Street beginning at 11 a.m.  Saturday, April 28.

Donations can also be made at any Cornerstone Bank under a fund set up for Leah Smallwood.

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