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Fall City boy succumbs to cancer

FALL CITY - Boe Smith's more than five-year battle with leukemia came to an end Sept. 3 at 12:20 a.m. when the 13 year old passed away in his Fall City home.

The Chief Kanim Middle School student with a love for the outdoors leaves a legion of family, friends and admirers behind.

Residents across the Valley got to know Boe over the years as scores of car washes and bake sales were held to raise money for his medicine and treatment. Thousands of dollars were raised, even in the rain. The Church on the Ridge in Snoqualmie had started a campaign to build the Smiths a larger home or add on to their current one so they could better attend to Boe's needs. Those plans are now on hold.

Last year, Boe was diagnosed with leukemia for the fourth time, but after treatments showed signs of improving.

"He was looking really good, looking forward to going back to school, playing sports," said Boe's aunt, Margaret Baker. Boe was in school for one month during 2004 before his family had to take him out again. "That's when he started going downhill and it's been a continuous back and forth to hospitals and treatments," she said.

In February, Boe's parents, Ron and Jenny Smith, were told there was nothing more the hospital could do for Boe. Jenny began looking into alternative medicine.

"I know both of them were doing everything and anything they could," said Boe's cousin, Dani Sletten. "Jenny wasn't giving up hope. It's just one of those things, you never know, you just hope for the best."

Sletten said Boe started the summer of 2005 on a positive note and enjoyed several excursions with his family to the zoo, the Seattle Aquarium and to his grandpa's house at Lake Chelan where he got to do some camping and boating. But as August came, things took a different turn.

Sletten said through hard times Boe's community was always there for him.

"You couldn't ask for a better place to live for what this community does to support their own. Throughout the whole ordeal Ron and Jenny got a lot of support from the community and will continue to get it," said Sletten.

Boe was "double zero" on the soccer field. He loved riding his go-cart, playing drums and was also a Boy Scout.

Chief Kanim Middle School Assistant Principal Ray Wilson became involved with the Smith family during Boe's time there. Boe's classmates made posters, cards and even a video on a few occasions to remind Boe they were thinking of him during the weeks and months he had to stay home from school to fight the disease. Boe would have been in seventh-grade at Chief Kanim this fall. The Smiths also have a 9-year-old daughter, Teanna.

"He will be missed, I tell ya what, but he'll be fondly remembered," Wilson said. "He had a unique ability to light up a room. He was vibrant and an extremely caring kid. He'll be missed, but I think his spirit and energy will definitely go on."

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