Family looks to community to help fund a trip to Florida with teen daughter given months to live

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) – A Cedar Rapids family is planning a trip to Florida to get the most out of the time they have left with their teen daughter.

17-year-old Abbi Smith was once a high school swimmer, bowler, and a 4.2 GPA student, but that all changed when she was diagnosed with a rare inoperable brain tumor in 2020. Her family has set up in-home hospice care, and her doctor gave her only a few months left to live.

“Currently, it’s called a high-grade CNS neoplasm,” said Abbi’s mother, LaVonne Smith.

The family is planning a 2-week road trip to Florida. They’re asked the community for help funding what they’re calling their last trip together and couldn’t believe the outpouring of support.

“We made a Facebook post yesterday and raised over $15-thousand,” said LaVonne. “We want to make to make the most of the time that we can,” said her brother Garrett. “It’s been hard to handle the news and what we’ve had to deal with, but you have to try and stay positive,” said LaVonne.

The Smiths aren’t sure how much time they have left together.

“They don’t have a good recommendation for treatment,” she said. “The doctor told us to go on a trip. He says she’s in much better shape than what he sees in the scans.”

With the help of so many, they’ll be spending some much-needed time under the sun and the blue skies, together.

“We still have hope,” she said. “We’re hopeful. “We look at her, and we know things have not been the greatest the last few, days, and it is a day-by-day thing, but we think she’ll get to graduation. She’ll be able to walk the stage.”

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