MADISON, Ala. (WHNT)– On Christmas Eve, a Madison family is all home together. But it almost didn’t happen.
The Smiths have been at St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital with their daughter Ansley for months.
In April, she was diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare form of childhood cancer. Her grandmother Vanesa Randall tells WHNT News 19 that Ansley’s cancer is also spreading to her brain and spine.
“She’s [had] 30 rounds of chemo[therapy],” said Randall. She says this was after treatment for a tumor in Ansley’s sinuses.
But Wednesday, Ansley got a dose of Christmas cheer instead.
She and her family made the drive from Memphis back home to Madison, where they will spend Christmas together.
“It’s just amazing, because I didn’t think it was going to happen,” said Randall.
Lining the street up to the Smiths’ home, family, friends and neighbors cheered Ansley on. They carried signs, some gifts, and smiled big when her father got her out of the car at home for the first time in a while.
“It’s just been so long since they’ve been home,” said Randall. “And I know how bad she wanted to be home.”
Ansley is still undergoing rigorous treatments, and must return to the hospital by the end of the month.
But it’s this brief break, and the sight of those who love her all together at home, that has her smiling this Christmas.