A 13-year-old girl in Kaufman County recently learned she has just months to live.
"They said he gave me 'til December to live if we don't do anything," Laurren Smith said.
Laurren was diagnosed with a rare cancer called osteosarcoma in August 2007. She had surgery to remove the tumor and now has a prosthetic knee and a titanium femur. The cancer, though, returned twice, each time settling in her lungs.
"Last week was when we found out the tumors had grown 200 percent, and there's another new one in her lung," said Laurren's mom Patty Smith.
"He did give us some options with chemo and stuff. Surgery is not an option right now because the tumors are too big. But even with all those, his main emphasis was just letting her be able to live her life," Smith said. "We told her the oncologist had given her probably until Christmas because the tumors grow so incredibly fast."
"I thought 'Wow, a couple of months, that's all.' I wish it'd be longer, but that's all; but I wasn't scared. I'm not scared. I'm not scared of anything. But my parents, on the other hand, they're pretty scared," said Laurren.
"The life was taken out of me when I knew the treatment wasn't working, and I talk to her and she puts the life right back in me," her mom said tearfully.
The alternative treatment started two months ago. It included juices, organic food, 30 pills a day, herbal drops, infrared sauna, colonics, enemas, vitamin C infusions and much more. Insurance covers none of it, but the community of Forney does through fundraisers that have raised $65,000 so far.
You can track her fundraising and her story on her Caring Bridge website.
Laurren wants to continue the nutrition regimen over the next few weeks but with some modifications.
"I'm planning on doing some cheeseburgers," she said with a smile.
The eighth-grader at Brown Middle School also plans on making each day count.
"After school, I'm going to hang out with friends. Go home. Take my pills and hang out with my friends. I'm going to do as much fun stuff as I can do," she said.
"She wants to make it Christmas to get a dirt bike and a pink helmet," her mother said. "We gain a lot of strength from her and how she copes, how positive she is and how fearless. She's amazing. She's different. I'm very, very blessed to have her."
Laurren's positive attitude uplifts everyone around her: her parents, siblings, and friends at school.
It's the lesson of life the teenager wants others to learn.
"You gotta have strength through everything, all your ups and downs, everything, and you have to keep your attitude positive," she said. "I didn't pray for God to heal me. I prayed for God to give me a positive attitude."