Tuesday, September 13, 2011

An Award Winning Smile

A couple months ago my sister told me about a little girl from her son's class that had just been diagnosed with cancer. I recognized her name as one of my nephew's little friends...a sweet, funny girl from all accounts. A precious child who had already had more health problems than seemed right or fair, yet still maintained an upbeat attitude.


When I found out little Mercede's mom had started a Facebook account to keep people updated on her fight with leukemia I just had to add her. It was probably the best friend request I have ever made. Over and over I have been convicted and inspired by this amazing little girl. Looking through her pictures I was amazed to see that she was smiling in nearly every picture. A smile that was real...not just put on for the camera. At one time some people believed that having your picture taken captured a piece of your soul. Looking at the pictures of Mercede makes me believe it. A piece of who she is shines through in every picture. Sometimes she looks tired. But you can see the life and the courage and the joy emanating from those beautiful eyes.

Helping with Ice Cream Sundaes

Snuggled in her bed

Nothing inspired me or convicted me more than a recent update from her mom which read "A quote from Mercede today 'Mommy, if I ever win an award for anything, I want it to be for having the biggest smile of any kid that ever had cancer!'"

That quote stabbed at me. Yes, my life is difficult right now. My husband is deployed. I'm trying to balance a life as a single mom and yet not a single mom. To be a good wife from what feels like a million miles away. To keep my marriage strong. To just survive this next year. And it is so easy to get discouraged and complain. Too easy to have a "woe is me" attitude.

Here is a little girl who is in a fight for her life...trying to beat the odds against a disease that is raging through her small body trying to drain the life out of her. And her desire is to be known as the child with the biggest smile of any kid that has ever had cancer.

Mercede with her Dad

Kind of makes all my problems seem rather minuscule in comparison. Over and over, when I am having a bad day, those words come back to me, reminding me that there are people going through bigger struggles than I am and yet keeping a positive attitude. There is a little girl with big problems than mine who is still keeping a smile on her sweet face. It's shaming really. But inspiring.

When I messaged Mercede's mom asking for permission to use her pictures, she told me that people have told her that she is a strong mother but she attributes her strength to watching her daughter.

Here is a little girl who deserves our prayers. She deserves to beat the fight against cancer. She deserves to live. And she deserves that award for the biggest and most beautiful smile of any kid that ever had cancer!

An awarding winning smile!

**If you want to do something to help Mercede and her family, please consider helping them with their Light the Night Walk. And - of course- Pray, Pray, PRAY!!!**


  1. This is beautiful, Katrina. I cried when I read it! Thank you so much for caring about Mercede and for praying for her.
    Mendi (Mercede's mom)

  2. What a brave, lovely little girl. I'm going to like their page right now.

  3. Im inspired! Will be prying :-)

  4. @Mendi - thank Sean! He has always had so many good things to say about Cede! Christi, too had many wonderful things to say about her :) She really has been an encouragement and inspiration to me and I just had to share a little bit of that with the blogging world!