This article, written by Andy Philpot, was published in the July 10, 2014 issue of The Mena Star.
Each year at the Polk County Relay For Life celebration, new stories are shared on the battles, victories, and caregiving involved with cancer and our local community members.
When recognition awards were given at this years Relay, held at the end of May, Lyndell Smedley of Hatfield, was named Caregiver of the Year. For those who attended Relay, they know at least some of the story behind why Lyndell was awarded Caregiver of the Year. Lyndell's story of dedication to his daughter and his family is a testimony of true dedication to being there for his daughter, and determined to see her through until she was healthy.
Telicia Smedley, daughter of Lyndell and Michelle Smedley, is a former Hatfield graduate who has gone on to become a teacher in Little Rock. When she had gone to a doctor's appointment on Valentine's Day in 2013, she had been experiencing some issues with bruising in too easy a fashion. When she went to that doctor's appointment that day for something unrelated to cancer, she didn't expect that it would immediately change her life. Lyndell and Michelle weren't expecting the phone call that they would receive that day, which would also change their lives immediately.
The news that Lyndell and Michelle got was that Telicia had leukemia.
Telicia was immediately admitted into the hospital, and almost in a whirlwind, got started on chemotherapy to begin the fight against this aggressive condition. She didn't expect that her doctor appointment would land her in a Little Rock hospital for the next 61 days.
A full feature will be run in a future issue of The Mena Star as space permits for the full story of Telicia's battle against cancer, and her Dad's dedication every step of the way.