Boe Smith was a camper, a soccer goalie, a Little League player about to enter seventh grade. Boe was also a soldier. He knew how to fight...
Boe Smith was a camper, a soccer goalie, a Little League player about to enter seventh grade.
Boe was also a soldier. He knew how to fight. He learned that at the age of 6, when doctors said the word “leukemia” and the little boy from Fall City went from tinkering with bike tires to waiting for injections at Children’s Hospital, chemotherapy seeping into his veins.
The cancer returned four times in seven years, said his mother, Jen Smith. Sometimes, it hid for months. But every time it came back, Boe stepped to the front lines ready to fight, she said.
But the fight proved to be too much. Boe died last Sunday (Sept. 4) at his home. He was 13.
Most Read Stories
- Billionaire Paul Allen pledges $30M toward permanent housing for Seattle’s homeless
- Seattle just broke a 122-year-old record for rain — because of course it did
- Is Seattle a target for a North Korean nuclear attack? Well, not quite yet, insiders say
- Seahawks' Marshawn Lynch agrees to contract with Raiders, is traded to Oakland in exchange of 2018 draft picks
- Boeing’s budget ax falls on popular gym for employees
“He’s like a rock star to us,” said Ray Wilson, vice principal of Chief Kanim Middle School in Fall City. “Forget American Idol. We had the real deal.”
Boe was born July 11, 1992, in Kirkland and later moved to Fall City. His spirit caused the community to rally around him and raise money for his treatment.
In many ways, he was your average boy: into video games, riding go-karts, hanging out with friends.
His courage could take your breath away, Wilson said. “He taught me a lot about perseverance. Like, put that smile on and see where it takes you.”
Out of 180 school days, Boe had made it to 60, Wilson said. He attended the last day of sixth grade in June. Schoolmates lined up 30-deep to sign his yearbook, he said.
This summer, Boe’s health deteriorated.
The illness left his face paralyzed at one point.
“When he couldn’t smile, he would take two fingers and lift the corners of his mouth,” his mother said.
He had one big tumor in his stomach and four others in his intestinal tract that caused internal bleeding. It hurt just to move, his mother said.
The doctors had said in January that he had reached his lifetime limit of chemotherapy and radiation, so there was nothing more they could do, his mother said.
She knew that her little soldier would soon leave her, she said.
That came Sunday morning, shortly after midnight. The family was at home. Boe’s 9-year-old sister, Teanna, was praying on the couch. Boe was in bed. Softly, he whispered to his mother, “Please let me go.”
Boe is survived by his father, Ron, his mother and sister; his grandparents, Randy and Connie Smith of Fall City and Maurice and Bonnie Martin of Snoqualmie; and great-grandparents Donald Davis of Carnation and Betty and Ken Magnuson of Oak Harbor.
Services will be at 5:30 p.m. today at the Church on the Ridge, 35131 S.E. Douglas St., Snoqualmie.
The Smiths will have a party celebrating Boe at their home afterward.
Sonia Krishnan: 206-515-5546 or firstname.lastname@example.org