This past summer, Marty and Shannon were given the opportunity to exhibit care and compassion for one of their own. Ian successfully received a kidney transplant from a kidney donated by his mother. Ian returned home to successfully go about the business of being a freshmen in high school.
One would think that persevering through kidney transplant surgery would be enough of a load for one family to shoulder for one year.
On August 16th, just two days before the Smiths were scheduled to return home to Anchorage after Ian's discharge, Marty was diagnosed with cholangiocarcinoma, a type of liver cancer. The symptoms began about two weeks after Ian was discharged from Children's Hospital. After a round of expensive tests (ultra sound, MRI, CT & biopsy), it was confirmed that Marty had a softball size mass growing on his liver.
The shining light in this sad story is Marty's faith in God! Armed with the mantle of Jesus Christ, Marty, Shannon and the Smith family bravely walked the path laid out before them; not alone, but with Our Lord and Savior.
Very quickly a battery of medical professionals confirmed that the only treatment for Marty's Stage 4 liver cancer was chemotherapy, and that would only extend life for a while. A subsequent visit to the Mayo Clinic confirmed treatment and prognosis options.
Never wavering, Marty fought a valiant fight, but the chemotherapy....strong as it was, could not vanquish the cancer. Marty passed away on Sunday, February 18th.
As a society, we raise vast amounts of money to cure cancer- This is a great thing!
But between the cure and now, cancer continues to extract a huge toll on those it chooses, and their loved ones.
This campaign is a memorial campaign for Marty Smith. We seek to raise money to help support the Smith family in the short run, help fund college costs for Marty and Shannon's kids, and in a small way, support a family in need that in so many ways, has given so much to so many.