A Lancer’s Battle: Landen Smith’s clash with cancer

Published: Feb. 7, 2022 at 9:19 PM PST
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - Landen Smith is back on the basketball court for McQueen High School after battling a rare form of cancer throughout almost all of 2020.

“I don’t know how bad it could’ve gotten,” said Smith, a senior shooting guard for the Lancers. “It was just pain and I’m not one to say it’s bad.”

“When I told my mom, she knew that something was pretty bad.”

What was once diagnosed as a simple sports injury would later be identified as Ewing’s Sarcoma, a rare and aggressive cancer of the bone and soft tissues.

Over the next 10 months, the Smith family would go on a journey which no family should, with their ailing son leading the way as a steady, resilient root of strength.

“His courage, his ability to go through what he had to go through without complaint,” said Craig Smith, Landen’s dad. “Just, what’s next?”

“As parents, you’re supposed to teach your children,” said Debbie Smith, Landen’s mom. “In this case, we learned from Landen.”

Watch Landen’s incredible comeback story above, including interviews with his doctors and the physical therapist who helped get him back in action.

“Being back on the court, being able to shoot,” said Landen. “Even though my lungs are burning, I know I’m going to be OK.”

The Smith family especially wants to spotlight the efforts of the Northern Nevada Children’s Cancer Foundation and the Little Warrior Foundation in fighting back against pediatric cancer, both locally and abroad.

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