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RHHS graduate to share cancer story at St. Baldrick's

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POSTED: March 11, 2011 2:00 p.m.

While she has some experience as a barber of sorts, serving mankind as a physician might be Jennifer Smith’s destiny.

Two years ago, doctors found an ependymoma tumor at Smith’s brain and spinal cord. The Richmond Hill teen soon underwent surgery to have the tumor removed, and then survived some complications and dozens of radiation treatments. But not long afterward, doctors discovered a blood clot on her brain that led to six seizures and a stroke.

Fortunately, the clot dissipated without surgery. Smith, now 18, says her neurosurgeon called her “a walking miracle” because of her strong recuperative abilities.

“I’m feeling great,” she said Monday. “Other than a little cold, I have no complaints.”

And she’s ready to help inspire other cancer survivors and those who still battle the disease. As she did last year, Smith plans to join in a “St. Baldrick’s” celebration at noon Saturday at 219 W. Bryan St., in Savannah’s City Market.

The Monrovia, Calif.-based St. Baldrick’s Foundation supports St. Baldrick’s events to raise awareness of and donations for childhood cancer research. At the events, some participants have their heads shaved to show solidarity with children who have cancer.

At last year’s St. Baldrick’s celebration at the Savannah Mall, Smith shaved the head of her doctor from Memorial University Medical Center.

On Saturday, “I’m going to go out there and share my story,” Smith said, “and if it’s anything like last year, I might get to shave a head or two.”

For more, pick up a copy of the March 5 edition of the News.



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