Brookland students present $3,000 check to family

Suzannah Lantz (left) and Jadyn Langston (Source: KAIT-TV)
Suzannah Lantz (left) and Jadyn Langston (Source: KAIT-TV)

BROOKLAND, AR (KAIT) - Last year, Slade Smith, a 7th grader at Brookland Junior High, was diagnosed with leukemia.

But, he didn't have to fight it alone. The community came together to show their support by hosting various fundraisers.

A couple of students—who are in 9th grade with his older brother, Hunter Smith—wanted to do their part to help Slade, as well.

When Jadyn Langston and Suzannah Lantz heard about his diagnosis, they couldn't believe it.

"I was really shocked just because when you think of somebody getting cancer, you think of your mom or grandma or someone like that," Lantz said. "You don't really think about a little kid being able to get it."

Lantz has only known Slade for a few years, but Langston and Slade's family go way back.

"I've known Slade since we were little," Langston said. "I went to daycare with him."

The two girls, who are members of Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA), were learning about the importance of being involved in their community.

So, they decided to use that lesson to help one of their own.

"We were trying to find a good way to raise money for him and so we hosted a 5k race," Langston said.

They also sold t-shirts and bracelets to raise money for Slade and his family.

On Friday they presented $3,000 to Slade's dad, DeShane, and older brother, Hunter.

Slade couldn't be there, but Lantz and Langston wanted to send him their love.

"I would just tell him how thankful we are for him still being here and that we love him," Langston said.

DeShane Smith said Slade was able to come home from St. Jude around Thanksgiving, and now he travels back and forth to continue treatments.

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