K&C - Linda and Deane, parents of the late Chelsea Smith, Fitchburg, with Dr. Alison O'Neill, pediatric oncologist, Dana-Farber 8-15-17

Chelsea passed away in January 2017 at the age of 26. She was treated for hepatoblastoma at 15 months and then at 24 for hepatocellular carcinoma due to a liver transplant. She was a patient with Dana-Farber for 24 years and appeared on last year’s Radio-Telethon. Chelsea had two older brothers, Griffin, 31 and Quinn, 28. Chelsea enjoyed spending time with her two nieces. Chelsea loved the beach – she would go there to relax and forget about her diagnosis. She enjoyed spending time with her family and friends. She also loved movies and shows. Last year Chelsea shared: “It's a very scary time in my life, never knowing what each day will bring. Life is precious to me and I am lucky to be here today. I am also struggling with why this is happening again. After a successful liver transplant, we had a lot of hope for a new beginning and living my life with the least of worries. I am grateful for the liver transplant. I think about my donor every day, especially knowing that if I didn't get one, my condition would be fatal. It's an emotional time. I'm happy that I'm here today with a healthy liver but at the same time I can't believe I have cancer again after such a successful surgery. I wasn't supposed to make it out of surgery. Dana-Farber is with us every step of the way and isn't giving up on my diagnosis considering treatment being limited. Everyday I thank god for the Jimmy Fund. Words can't express my gratitude to all the amazing doctors and nurses at this institution.”

When Chelsea was diagnosed with hepatocellular carcinoma in the explanted liver, Dr. O’Neill became her doctor. She had the honor to treat Chelsea over the course of many months, trialing
many experimental therapeutics, and managing her pain and symptoms towards the end of her life.  Dr. O’Neill and others visited her at home, got to know her parents and siblings, and celebrated her life at a tremendous event after her passing. Her family organized a fun-run to honor her memory a year after her passing and raised over $14,000 for Dr. O’Neill’s liver tumor research.  Dr. O’Neill ran the race too. Dr. O’Neill, “Chelsea was loved by so many members of the hospital in so many different departments.   On her last discharge home, the number of people who visited her and relayed their love for the family was astounding.  They continue to ask about Linda and Deane on a regular basis as they too touched the lives of so many.” Dr. O'Neill completed her fellowship in 2011. Dr. O’Neill is a clinician and scientist who spends 50% of her time treating patients with solid tumors, with a special focus on treating patients with liver tumors, and 50% of her time performing clinical and preclinical research. Her research focuses on targeting tumor cell surface proteins to enhance diagnostics and therapeutics.

Transcript - Not for consumer use. Robot overlords only. Will not be accurate.

Lyndon B Smith the parents of the early Chelsea Smith from Pittsburgh with doctor Al Sonia we have on every year. Joining us right now are you guys doing an awful can't I wanna keep social the budget story about or I guess about Chelsea stories. If you can't. She was. Adults to have that in mind that a long long road to her. She 55 until her body he'll ever fight anymore it's all. With what it kind of person. We Alley in the gym and in whatever they. Could do for us they did and we had a for two years yet she's she's diagnosed at one. How thinking human knowledge of the recent years five more years and unfortunately for her she died at different cancer that you diagnosed with fifteen months so it's kind of tough situation here after the Petraeus. She worked very hard for what she added and we. Were glad we efforts split. And you. Like Alaska's ticket that used to commemorate. Who says keep smiling beautiful that was sir Ian Wright just. It's close if this incident so you can picture that we two but we'll get to that. But. What what can say about doctor Alley over here. We miss Ellie in twenty. Fourteen I went fourteen. All I can say is speculation known mainly for 26 and a half years and it's been. There's no care for. Tenth cancer. They line and found different trials for her. And see thing at the cute on her when she was it hospice. When it was time. And she talked to us and. Look different. It's something that you learned during the process of this that some doctors are. It was trying to bet some doctors are personal. A Coca yet. We are talking NFL got to Moskovciak at doctor wecht and doctor. He got all the the first race this is last year. April this year all right OK okay with. House. It. But doctor and you you'd agree yeah I mean you know we yours and resentment resentment some doctors don't get personal makes athletes they. I understand that's the way to do it but others don't it just you. I think. Part of one of the best. Features in my mind at my job is that I get to meet people like best. Mean these people have touched our lives in measure of plane and as cut and their daughter was unbelievably beautiful human. And so I think how can you how can you stay detached from that am I think we meet became friends speaking family and I think after. You know she under plays Linda at least the run and they set up for Chelsea it was beautiful event to commemorate and beautiful life and the number of friends and family they had. This is the first year they've ever organized the first time of their lives at organizing my best and they are hundreds of people there. And it just is a testimony to how special they are and how lucky we are as their as their team seem to care for them. Q and you deem you make sense of what you've been through and do you sleep means when you go news. Whom and I'm making sense of it. No no we can't you can't. It's just so hard to one CU you you to it. Fighting all life Friday and Friday and Friday. She was just sold missiles on a muffed a monster. She she has fought until she she couldn't fight you know in the and one of the worst Linksys to lassie is your son or or or a daughter. Die before it's. It's just not right now so sleeping lies. Yes or no. If if we. You know. It. A and doctor they're talking about Chelsea's strength you work for her when you're diagnosed you talk about working with her in the strength that she throw throw what this was a very tough process. Absolutely she came at a clinic. Every week with optimism. And was willing to go through it ever was necessary. And I think she did it. Much for herself but also for our family. Now you know meet Childs at multiple different drugs. For me. Rolled her on clinical trials we sequence to hurt America trying to get to trying new drugs that could potentially treat disease which didn't work for a parent time. But she was. It was nothing I had ever battered down even matter where they were just science that only a few days before she passed away she went shopping. Five other something special. If it to speak to her spirit and and that that apparently never stopped. She is incredible can you guys talk about that is just the Dana Farber June from experience overall you've put into words what it's meant. When she was first diagnosed we Wear and another hospital. And it was fear just fear Nolan look at this normally make eye contact with us. And we just weren't didn't know that we were on the wild ride of our life. And we were just an electric golf. This it was cancer and it scared her so when your child is again a 1% chance of vital in doubt well on the ticker something. And that we walked into the children's hospital. And I. They had her up and culture in me and kind of get your child and she wants you Judy Chu and she wasn't. Skid she wasn't scared they weren't they were like we're gonna do this this is what the next step there is hope these people they were laughing they. Then the Jimmy Fund dot com and it wasn't. It wasn't a death sentence at that point it wasn't. It's going to be tough road but we can do everything in my power to keep everything that your daughter came to survive in the day and she did. For our you know she still brought us a letter. Before she passed away and she said you have to think if she wrote this in Atlanta dear mommy daddy and I think doctors she ever get for giving in these. The doctor Victor for surgery. For giving us 26 and a half years can't get its act because. I would've at that that would have been. Did you always have some hopeful words there. It was general groups were stretched the time we use it just didn't want anything normal no hope. I think Lotta whole. Is that Chelsea wings somewhere it would enhance chronicles all her kids and we laugh at it that way so can you give us a rundown. Okay because it was. You know she had so many issues because of everything that we've given it. No my daughter said and she's right. She never really get a chance to short school went to college for a little while but she says mom you know my real job wasn't that much was on the lab rat. Because all the things that they found on her whole life because of her day. Researched and they didn't use fitness or didn't use that. You know like what they had had a blast a home and now most of the kids get liver transplants right way are here again depth and so Chelsea. Chelsea broke ground fusion leave a legacy obviously it's nice and I mean but what she did it now alleys and you know trying. Just research we make donation thing for our nation. And we'll keep an up and do what you can do something. Here's another little person. It you guys race 141000. Dollars. Four research expert that's. They certainly are and I threw my family's from the Massachusetts man alienated as an added an event that I'm Alison port Augusta apple episodes in the movie people next year you let us know on again on Marshall before that will promote will be good not great humble I won't flash next. That's what I'm that's I get on the I've learned indeed thank you so much thank you so much thank you Chelsea today. Doctor and you'll see an extra sure that's nothing I think you're taking much.