"... Richie has completed his earthly journey and has transitioned to his heavenly home."  March 12, 2018

I am utterly heartbroken ... 

 

From February 24, 2018

From my brother and Richie's Dad, Rick ... "We were speechless when we saw the last MRI, left with no treatment options. And it’s hard to say this when speaking of my own son, Richie, but the consensus is that he may only have a couple of weeks to a few weeks left on his earthly journey.

I want to praise the UTSW medical team, in all aspects of all care and treatment. It’s a stellar, dedicated, caring, loving team and we thank them all for everything they have done.

WHAT’S NEXT

Richie will be in home-based Hospice care with a focus on comfort and compassionate care. They have already been a great help getting things set up for us.

With all this said, I’m not the final say, Mama Bear isn’t the final say, no person on earth has the final say. Only God has the final say for Richie…… We are not the author and finisher, God is.

Please lift Richie up in your prayers"

From February 21, 2018

"Today (Feb/21/2018) - MRI day Richie gets his scan, lab draw, infusion, meeting with the doctors, etc.

This day started just the same as all others, where Richie made time to meet and greet with some of his UTSW friends he’s met over the years. He always enjoys seeing them, spending time chatting. It’s great to see how much Richie is loved and how much he loves them.

After a little socializing, it was time to see the Doctors. Everything was going as usual, until we got to the scan. This time we got a surprise. Not a small surprise, but a BIG surprise. I looked at the previous scan and looked back at the new scan. I instantly knew it wasn’t what we hoped for. A single tear slowly flowed down my cheek then the one tear turned to a stream. The visceral reaction was intense and literally painful. I wasn’t prepared to see and hear what they were saying. I even stopped the doctors to say, I’m not really hearing what you’re saying, we’ll have to go over this again. It was like the doctors had a bag of tricks and they reached in the bag and came up empty – there were no tricks.

So, what’s next? Richie will drop ALL treatments except steroids. We will continue to have a comfortable, loving, & prayerful home.

For Richie’s friends please visit Richie when you have the time. It’s great when you can.

We are in God’s hands and we know Richie can be healed though love and prayers.

When Mama Bear heard the
news, she wanted to tell everyone we will not grieve Richie we will pray for him.

Thank you for your prayers and please pray for Richie and our family.

Prayers For Richie Fundraiser

This is for my nephew, Richie Smith.  Thanksgiving weekend 2012, Richie underwent brain surgery to remove a tumor that was later found to be cancerous - glioblastoma.  He's since been through radiation and chemotherapy and a longer term phase of treatment which included chemo and biological treatments as well as steroids for 12 months.  Since then, he's been through several other phases of treatments.  Richie had been off all treatments for a while.  His body had taken over the healing process, although he has ongoing mobility issues, but progress was being made.  Richie's MRI of six months ago showed that one of his tumors (which he had named "Kevin") was GONE.  One remained ... it was stable and his journey continued.  A couple of months ago, there was "an area of concern" that was treated with a rare 3rd round of chemo.  Five weeks ago, Richie got word that the original tumors were in remission.

But things can change in a heartbeat ...

This was our Valentine's day 2017 news:

MAJOR UPDATE

Life changes quickly. One day up and the next day down. This is not easy.

And there’s no easy way to say this – Richie’s MRI was not good. It showed rapid change in just five weeks – which appears to be tumor growth. This is not something that can wait and will need immediate attention.

We’re in tears. We’re devastated.

The other tumors are still in remission. The UTSW Tumor board will meet* to discuss options with a goal of acting quickly.

James 5:14 Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord.

Please pray for Richie and our family.

*The board meets on Friday, February 17th 2017. 

The board decided to take a "wait and see" approach and go back to monthly MRI's.

2nd, Even More Major update!

"Written by – Rick Smith – Mar 29, 2017. MRI Results.

“He is the one you praise; he is your God, who performed for you those great and awesome wonders you saw with your own eyes” (Deuteronomy 10:21).

We are one month removed from Richie’s last MRI. That was a time of confusion. What appeared to be remission also seemed to say something was amiss. From there we were left standing and waiting until today. Until we could see what the MRI would show us.

An agonizing month – just waiting, wondering But I have to tell the truth. A month prior my intuition, my gut said all was well. Then the MRI results gave us an inconclusive view that led to two possible outcomes – one that would send Richie on a path of harsh chemo or whatever else the Docs could devise and the second a path that yielded a much more positive outcome.

Behind the scenes Richie’s doctors were waiting to see today’s MRI. One of the doctors got a first look. He told other doctors, simply saying – you have to see Richie’s MRI – stop what you’re doing and check out the MRI now!!

When did Richie and I know what was going on? When one of our doctors came into the room. She was excited, unable to hold back her excitement, knowing she was going to give us wonderful news. She showed us the scan from today, side-by-side with the scan from a month ago. . As Veronica has said, what looks like a demolition is sometimes is a renovation. Well bring on the renovation. The new scan is amazing.

One of our seasoned doctors who is intelligent and very practical – simply said –

“It’s a miracle.”

He also said, “In all of my career I’ve never seen anything like it”

Thank you God and thank you to all the prayer warriors who frequently pray for Richie and our family. God is in business and he knows his business – we don’t always know his plans, but right now, right in front of us we have seen a miracle.

“He is the one you praise; he is your God, who performed for you those great and awesome wonders you saw with your own eyes” (Deuteronomy 10:21).

Thank you God and thank you to each and everyone of you as you continue to support us in many, many ways…"

Through all of this Richie is maintaining a supremely positive attitude, his deep faith and exuberant good humor remain intact, he is "happy, happy happy."  He's always about doing for and helping others, like starting his own foundation, For A reason World Foundation.  Richie's energy and enthusiasm for life is such an inspiration ... he completed a 60 day Bikram yoga challenge in January and started a garden in association with his foundation.  His passion for music, his family and an amazing group of devoted friends and extended family keep him energized.  You can check out his music via his Facebook page here

There is great joy in his 23 year old eyes.  When asked why he thinks he's been given this challenge in life, he answers, "Why not me?"

So what's an auntie do do?

Well, since this auntie is a jewelry designer with a penchant for creating talismans and meaningful jewels, I've designed and am making a medallion to sell and donate the proceeds to Richie's family.  On one side is my "All One" symbol ... we truly are ALL ONE, on the other side is "P4R"  - Prayers For Richie.  This ties into a growing "Prayers For Richie" Facebook community (now almost 2600 people) following Richie's journey.  I've also stitched up little muslin bags stamped with the P4R logo to hold the medallion.

Each medallion, hand formed from metal clay, averages about 3/4" (22mm) in diameter (bronze a bit larger) and hangs from a 30" adjustable red nylon cord.  I chose red to symbolize the "red thread of connection" - the blood that pulses through each of us - as another way of connecting with our powerful Prayers For Richie Community.

Except for the postage charge, all the money received goes to Richie, I don't take anything for my materials or time.  The minimum donations will be great, but if you would like to make an additional contribution (via the button at the top right) . . . well that would be amazing.

Click here or on the image to top right to choose from a bronze medallion with a minimum donation of $20 or a sterling silver medallion, minimum donation of $40.  Medallions are made to order and will ship 2 to 3 days after ordering.  By the way, one of these sterling silver medallions would normally retail for $90.

with deep gratitude and light filled blessings ... Kathy

 

Donate to the Smith Family

... all donations  are deeply appreciated.  

Here's the GoFundMe link to donate directly to Richie's family

P4R medallions ... right now I'm sold out of medallions.  If you'd like to order one, please write and I'll let you know when they'll be available.

  P4R Fundraiser medallions ; bronze or silver

P4R Fundraiser medallions; bronze or silver

 Richie with my Mom aka Gamma ...

Richie with my Mom aka Gamma ...

 Richie and his Dad completing their 60 day Bikram challenge ... amazing!

Richie and his Dad completing their 60 day Bikram challenge ... amazing!

graphite line kathy van kleeck