October 22nd, 2020

People answering call for family of two-year-old battling stage 4 cancer

By Bobinec, Greg on December 12, 2019.

A community GoFundMe page has been set up to support the Smith family as they stand beside their daughter during her fight with Stage 4 Wilms cancer. Submitted photo from Sydnee Smith

Greg Bobinec

Lethbridge Herald


Southern Albertans are coming to the aid of Mountain View parents whose two-year-old daughter is fighting stage four cancer as nearly $12,000 was raised in one day.

Last week, Sydnee and Tyrel Smith, parents of three children, heard complaints from their middle child Bo.

“Last Friday, me and my husband were getting ready to head to his Christmas party and Bo, who is very verbal for a two-year old, just said she was sick,” says Sydnee, Bo’s mother. “First we played it off as a tummy ache, but then she would get sensitive when we would pick her up, it was causing her pain, so I took her to the Cardston Hospital and the doctor said she just had a tummy ache. Something felt off so we kept taking her back, and she just kept getting a lot more sensitive when we touched. The doctor on Sunday, on my fourth visit, sent me to Lethbridge and that is where the ultrasound tech noticed a tumour on her kidney.”

The ultrasound images were sent to a radiologist at the Children’s Hospital in Calgary, where they realized the tumour looked cancerous. Through various screenings and bloodwork, doctors were able to diagnose Bo with Stage 4 Wilms cancer, also known as nephroblastoma.

“She has already had her first surgery where they placed a central line in so that she could get her chemotherapy,” says Smith.

“She has had her first round of chemo and will have two more rounds, and then they will go back and make sure that her tumour is responding. They will make sure they have diagnosed the type of cancer properly. After six weeks and six rounds of chemo, she will have her kidney removed, and then since it spread, they are going to do some pulse-operative chemotherapy for about nine more months after her kidney has been removed, and some radiation.”

The Smiths are hoping Bo’s tumour will respond to the chemotherapy, but until they remove her kidney, they won’t know how far the cancer has spread.

Smith’s sister Karlee Durfey was by her side through the process of diagnosis and felt she needed to do something to help the family through their struggles. With expensive prescriptions and a seven-hour commute once a week to and from the Children’s Hospital, Durfey hopes to raise some money to help subsidize the costs of the treatments, so her sister’s family can focus their attention on getting Bo cancer-free.

“My sister was in the room with me when Bo was diagnosed, and then she just took it upon herself to help out in any way she could. There has been quite a good response, which doesn’t take away the cancer but it has let us focus on Bo’s health and not the financial side of it,” says Smith. “It has been such an eye-opener for us, spending a week at the Children’s Hospital, just seeing what so many families go through with sick kids. But, we just hope we can get Bo better, and learn from this and in the future to hopefully help out all these families that we were just blind to what they go through all of the time.”

So far, the community support has seen over 200 people already donate to the Smiths’ medical fund. If you would like to help support Bo in her cancer fight, visit gofundme.com, and search “Bo & The Smith Family” to find their fundraiser.

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