Oct. 1 2014 should have been little more than a day of recognition for Saanich’s Smith family, but it was a nightmarish repeat of the life-changing news that Emma Grace Smith received two years ago to the day, in 2012.
Smith has been diagnosed cancer in her spine. It’s a huge blow for Smith and family, as she beat the brain cancer she was diagnosed with as a nine-year-old.
As a result of Emma being so ill, it has pulled her father Darrell away from work to help care for Emma with mother, Diane.
“I was in France when my wife called me with the devastating news and immediately returned to Canada,” said Darrell, a self-employed project manager who works worldwide on submarine cable ships.
Between trips to Vancouver for treatment, the Smith family is trying to raise awareness of the bottle drive, organized by a neighbour, as well as general fundraising.
The bottle drive is collecting at 1280 Palmer Rd. from Nov. 4 to 11. Bottles can also be returned to Bottle Depot locations, where the return collections can be donated to the Emma Smith account.
Last year Smith was a junior rider with the Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock, and was deemed cancer free. Since the newest diagnoses on Oct. 1, Emma has received radiation therapy and as of this week, is awaiting her platelet counts to climb higher, enough to commence chemotherapy, said Darrell.
The treatment will be undertaken at Vancouver’s B.C. Children’s Hospital and Victoria General Hospital.
Emma has a younger brother, Charlie, 9.