Columbia, SC (WLTX) - At 24 years old, it's difficult to imagine being diagnosed with cancer. Perhaps even harder is being told at 29 that your illness will end your life sooner, rather than later.
It's the story of one Columbia mother, and community members are now asking for your help to help her and her family as the face the unimaginable together.
"Her baby is five. Her oldest child is 11," explains Cindy Smalls, "Just to see her being taken away from them, and at such a young age... There's just a lot of things that she wants to do and hasn't done yet."
The luxury that Smalls had of watching her daughter, Shena Mobley, grow up is one that she knows Mobley won't be able to afford with her own children.
On August 1st of this year doctors told Mobley that her Hodgkins' Lymphoma, first diagnosed in 2007, had become terminal. Recalls Smalls, "It felt like my whole world crumbled."
The 29-year-old mom of six is too weak to be on-camera. Her mother is here, running the household during the day, everyday. With a little help from her grandchildren. "They help me cook. I can go in the kitchen, I don't care what I'm doing. 'Grandma, I want to help.' They help me cook, they'll help me clean, we watch movies together, they'll play their games together," says Smalls.
It's that sweetness and love here in this house that community advocate Natalie Brown first noticed, and what made her want to help. "I was just so impressed with Shena - at her courage, at her fortitude," she says.
Mobley is living without health insurance. The family does get government assistance, but the money they have only goes so far. Says Brown, "It's getting cold. They could use some coats, toiletries, the things that they have to use cash for because cash isn't readily available for a family like this."
Smalls hasn't given up hope of her daughter's survival, saying, "I'm trusting in God to heal her, because I want her to have those opportunities to be able to do things with her kids."
But Brown is hoping the community can help this family, who smiles even when things are hard, no matter what the future holds. "We don't know what the future holds. We need to put money away for a rainy day or what may be coming," she says.
If you'd like to make a monetary donation, you can drop checks off at any First Citizens' Bank, made payable to the Shena Mobley fund.
The family's ages, sizes and needs are as follows:
- Girl, age 11: wears a ladies shoe size 7; pants size, adult 9/10 or 11/12; and blouse size, medium to large; coat size, adult 11/12 or medium. Her favorite colors are black and white. She prefers wearing pants and jeans.
- Boy, age 9,: wears a boy's shoe size 4 to 5; pants size, boy's 10; shirt size, boy's 10-12; and coat size, boy's 10 or medium. He loves cartoons, cars and video games. - Boy, age 8,: wears a boy's shoe size 1-2; pants size, boy's 7; shirt size, boy's 7-8; and boy's coat size 7-8 or medium. He is stylish and loves dressing in the latest fashions and name brand clothes. He is outgoing, outspoken, and a daredevil. He loves cars and video games.
- Girl, age 6: wears a girl's shoe size 2; pants size, girl's 7; blouse and dress size, girl's 7; and girl's coat size 7 or medium. Her favorite color is purple. She's smart and is an A/B Honor Roll student. She enjoys playing with dolls and games.
- Girl, age 5: wears a girl's shoe size 12; girl's pants and dress size 6x; and girl's coat size 6x or small. Her favorite color is pink. She enjoys playing with dolls and loves to dress up in her mother's boots.
- Boy, age 4: wears a boys' shoe size 4; boy's pants size 5 (no elastic); belt-size boy's 4; boy's shirt size, 4; and coat size 4 or small. He enjoys playing with cars and watching cartoons.
- Shena Mobley, 29, is the mother suffering with terminal cancer. She wears a size 1 and is in need of pajamas, night gowns, and underwear and socks. She wears sports bras in an adult small. She also needs different size pillows for her bed, queen-size linen, mattress pad, mattresses and a universal remote for the television in her room. She could use a reclining chair to sit in for her bedroom. She needs inspirational and spiritual books and music CDs to keep her inspired.
For donations of items, you can drop off at either of the two locations:
New Look Hair Salon, 3730 North Main Street, next to Papa John's Pizza. Ask for Mary Holloway-Davis
Palmetto Protection Agency in the Benedict College Business Development Center, 2601 Read Street, across from the Benedict College Stadium. Ask for Chandra Cleveland-Jennings.