Cheering for Charlie




Charlie Smith 400

On November 7, 2019, we arrived in the emergency room at Riley Hospital for Children with our 1-year-old son, Charlie. For two weeks, we had noticed decreased appetite, low-grade fevers and drowsiness, and I decided I needed some more answers. After 12 hours of testing, bloodwork, and multiple doctors assessing Charlie, we heard the words no parent wants to hear: “This is going to be very hard to hear, but we found a large cancerous tumor in Charlie's abdomen." 

Our lives forever changed that day. Charlie was very sick when he was first diagnosed with stage 4 high-risk neuroblastoma. He has endured multiple viruses, feeding tube placements, blood transfusions and hospital stays. He has gone through five inpatient chemotherapy treatments and a tumor resection surgery, but he still has a long way to go. 

So what's next for our Charlie boy? Two stem cell transplants, radiation and then immunotherapy. The journey is long and exhausting, but our Charlie is so strong and such a fighter!  We have an incredible support system through our "Cheering for Charlie" Facebook group. We are trusting that God is working all things together for his glory and for our good! 

Our time at Riley has been hard but we wouldn't want to be anywhere else with our boy. He is receiving the absolute best care! Our doctors, nurses, dietician, case managers, and Child Life Specialists have made our stay at Riley easier. They include us in Charlie's care and ensure that we are taken care of as well. What a blessing they have been to us! 

We can't imagine being anywhere else with Charlie. We know that he is absolutely in the best hands.

Your generosity helps Riley Hospital provide the very best care, support, and research for children like Charlie. Donations of every level make a difference – visit RileyKids.org to learn more. Thank you for your support.


Stephanie Jo Smith, Riley Mom

Stephanie Smith, Franklin, Ind., is a Riley parent who works as a labor and delivery nurse. She and her husband, Cody Smith, have two sons. Their youngest, Charlie, is fighting high-risk neuroblastoma. Stephanie says, “It’s my greatest joy to care for my boys as I aim to raise them to be strong, godly men.”


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