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About Our Nadia

On January 11, 2004, an amazing little girl, named
Nadia Marie Smith, was born and changed our lives
forever. As an infant she delighted all around her
with smiles, giggles, and her infectious sense of
humor. Nadia was truly a dancing princess, yet she
loved to run, ride her bike, and was not afraid to
get dirty. At the age of five, she was a normal healthy
girl who loved gymnastics and was excitedly anticipating
kindergarten. When school started, Nadia began to
experience frequent headaches; the doctor thought it
was allergies and placed her on allergy medication.
Soon, her balance was affected and Nadia was plagued
by constant fatigue. On October 5th, 2009, she was taken
in for an MRI and was diagnosed with Diffused Intrinsic
Pontine Glioma or DIPG. How could a vivacious, energetic, delightful little girl have an inoperable brain tumor? This unimaginable disease was devastating to all who knew and  loved Nadia. The onset of symptoms of this horrendous disease was swift for Nadia. She lost her ability to walk the first week of her diagnosis, her ability to talk the second week, and her ability to eat on the third week.

DIPG is a catastrophic disease that offers no hope. St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee is where Nadia was given radiation treatments and inclusion in a clinical trial of chemotherapy. The prognosis for DIPG is six to twelve months, often eighteen months. This was not the case for our sweet Nadia. She fought this disease with valor and smiled until she could smile no more. Nadia lost her battle on December 27, 2009.

Since Nadia was able to walk and talk she always wanted to help others; she wanted to be a teacher when she grew up. She was a nurturing older sister, and showed compassion to all around her. In her honor, we have established the Nadia’s Gift foundation. We want to provide a wide variety of assistance to families dealing with childhood cancer…we will continue to learn from Nadia’s teaching.