Malden community helps bring Christmas spirit early for woman battling breast cancer

As a Dunklin County woman fights late-stage breast cancer, community members are helping make her wishes come true
Published: Oct. 25, 2023 at 5:48 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 25, 2023 at 6:26 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

MALDEN, Mo. (KFVS) - As a Malden woman fights late-stage breast cancer, community members are helping make her wishes come true.

Ashley Smith has been battling breast cancer since 2011. As the mother of three fights cancer, her neighbors and friends are working to make what could be her last Christmas extra special, and they’re bringing it to her a little early.

“It is amazing, if I said thank you now until my last breath, it would be never be enough gratitude,” said Smith.

Smith’s home is now full of Christmas décor and gifts. She said all of it came from generosity.

“Hundreds of people donating, I don’t even know. My kids made a wish list on amazon, all these gifts are donated for the kids so really this weekend is me giving my kids a Christmas incase I am not here for Christmas,” said Smith.

Smith said her form of breast cancer is incurable and recently, she had to stop treatment.

“In the last 2 years, I really started going through the treatments, they just were working for shorter times or not at all and the last treatment that I tried made me really sick, and so that’s when we decided my body was too weak to try anything else, I was out of options,” said Smith.

When Denna Barnett heard her neighbor wanted to celebrate Christmas early, she knew she needed to help.

“I got this message from Ashley and she said I am getting a new tree and lights, I was told you and Donna would be willing to decorate,” said Barnett. “I just happened to be in the Christmas aisle in Walmart and as soon as I got that message I thought yes we are doing this so I started piling on all this stuff in pink.”

Chelsea Hart has been by Smith’s side during this journey. She said she’s touched by the love and support for her friend.

“I just think that there is good in the world and nobody deserves it more than her, and I am really thankful for that and for her kids to be able to have those memories with Ash,” said Hart.

While Smith says some days are hard, seeing the support from the people around her makes her feel better.

“I just think it’s all the love and support and knowing that people really do care it is out of the goodness of their heart,” said Smith.

The early Christmas plans will all come together this weekend when Smith and her family celebrate together.