Help Jasmine Fight Encephalitis

This is an appeal to families at the Knoxville Montessori School - and to all friends of Kim Smith and her daughters Jasmine and Janée, who are students at our school.

Kim’s daughter Jasmine is dealing with a terrible medical problem, and they need our help.

Jasmine was bitten by a mosquito this summer and contracted encephalitis - an inflammation of the brain that can cause a host of ongoing problems, including brain damage, seizures, memory loss, hearing or vision defects, speech impairments, and more. (For information encephalitis, visit

Jasmine has been in and out of the hospital for the past several months, and although her condition has improved, she continues to need treatment. In addition, her doctors are still not sure if she will suffer permanent effects from the disease. She will have more brain scans later this fall and may need additional treatment then.

Jasmine's treatment is very expensive, and because Kim has had to be with her daughter in the hospital, she was not able to work for much of the summer. As a result, she needs help paying both for Jasmine's medical bills and for their family's basic living expenses - including rent, food, etc.

The situation is even more complicated and expensive. Kim works in Knoxville, but because she and her daughters are members of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, their insurance requires them to receive medical care in Cherokee, North Carolina. As a result, they have had to drive back and forth from Knoxville whenever Jasmine needs treatment. They have been trying to get a referral to doctors in Knoxville, but so far that has not been possible, and even when it does, Kim will still have trouble working, and all of their other expenses will continue.

Kim, Jamine, and Janée are a wonderful family, and all of us who know them are heartbroken by what is happening. Every parent worries about what they would do if their child were stricken with a permanent injury or incurable disease. Kim has been dealing with this reality every day since Jasmine was diagnosed with encephalitis. She is doing a wonderful job, but like everyone in a difficult situation, she needs help and support.

Kim is a proud, self-reliant person, and I know from talking with her that it's hard for her to ask for help. However she and her daughters are facing such a terrible situation that she has allowed us to start this GoFundMe page so her friends can show their love and appreciation for her and family by helping them in this hard time.

If all of us who know and love Kim, Jasmine, and Janée can pitch in, we can make a huge difference for their family. All funds donated will go directly to Kim.

Every contribution will deeply appreciated. I hope you will join me in donating what you can.

For information about Kim’s background and her recent MBA from the Haslam College of Business at the University of Tennessee, visit “Kimberly Smith: An MBA and mother, Smith gives back with Native American spirit” at
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Organizer and beneficiary

Charlie Biggs
Knoxville, TN
Kim Smith

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