Kelly Smith: Cancer Survivor and Activist

By: Lee Gordon Email
By: Lee Gordon Email

Ovarian Cancer is usually found in women over 50, but that's not always the case.

One Tallahassee woman has been fighting the disease for half her life and she's in her mid-30's. But her passion and drive to survive makes her a perfect advocate for more research and funding.

She's inspirational and motivational--humble and maybe even a little spiritual. That's what happens when you develop ovarian cancer at the age of 17. Kelly Smith has spent the past 16 years fighting the disease and doing a pretty good job of it.

"Over the last 16 years, I've had 14 surgeries, three rounds of IV chemo, seven rounds of oral chemo, and nine rounds of radiation," said Smith.

And through it all, she remains one of the most upbeat women you've ever known. Now the goal is educating women across the state of Florida. Last May, she founded the Ovarian Cancer Alliance of North Florida. And these days, she's taking her mission to the Capitol, fighting for House Bill 1085.

"The Kelly Smith Act of 2011 is geared to get a seat on the existing cancer council that advances the Department of Health and the Department of Health and Human Services on the decisions on how to split research funding education awareness initiatives and that type of thing."

Kelly's last chemo treatment was in October of last year, and her 14th surgery was just completed earlier this year. She knows it's been a struggle and sometimes it's tough to keep a smile through all of the adversity, but Kelly Smith isn't going to let this beat her--she's turning the tides and kicking some butt!

"Being able to fight with a zest and zeal of a survivor and knowing I'm going to beat this thing no matter how hard it gets."

"I'm not done living, So I'm not gonna start dying."

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