KEARNEY, Mo. – The power of social media: news travels in seconds, often linking people who have never met. A quick post on a swap shop Facebook page has brought together two moms – one who just learned her baby has cancer; the other, willing to help someone she’s never met.
Often times when a family gets a cancer diagnosis, the world stops. Time stands still and nothing else matters. The Smith family has spent the last two weeks at the hospital with their nine-month-old son, their lawn becoming the least of their worries. Little did they know however what the overgrown grass would lead to.
Angie Smith met Kimberly Woodring for the first time Friday afternoon. The women shared a warm hug and became fast friends.
Smith and her husband found out July 19 their little boy Daxton has cancer. A growing lump in his belly worried the couple. Smith said, “I’m just hoping that it’s gas. I’m just hoping that I’m wrong. I’m hoping that my mommy gut is completely off and that I have nothing to worry about.
It turns out his tiny frame is housing a mass the size of a grapefruit. “It was like a bone-crushing fear that you can’t even process. When I change his diaper, I look at his stomach, and I just, how do you even look at that?”
Days and nights in and out of the hospital has meant less time at home. Smith’s husband Scott normally cuts the grass, but she took to Facebook to hire someone else to do it, to help lighten the family’s overwhelming load.
“I looked at my inbox, and I thought, what is going on?” said Smith.
That’s where Kimberly Woodring comes in. She and her husband own a lawn care service and offered to mow the Smith’s yard for free.
“I noticed there was a lot of posts that were more of, we’ll give you an estimate, and I thought, ‘I can’t let this happen. I can’t have her pay somebody when we can go do it for free,’" said Woodring. "I feel guilty because my kids are healthy and I’m able to do the normal summer things with them, and here they are, they have a sick nine-month-old and they’re worried about their lawn.”
It’s a burden one couple is hoping to take away from their new friends. Woodring said, “They have no idea how much it means to us to be able to do this for them, to pay it forward.”
“Here I’m doing everything I can to protect my child but then I have perfect strangers trying to step in to do the same thing," said Smith. "They don’t owe me anything.”
Woodring said the Smith’s yard is on the schedule for this coming Monday and every Monday for the rest of the year. They also say if the Smiths need help with the snow when that time comes, they’ll be there.
Little Daxton starts his next round of chemo next week. The Smiths said they’re overwhelmed by all of the kind thoughts and offers of help they received through the Swap Shop.