BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - The big "C"-word. I'm talking about cancer. You get the diagnosis and think, 'now what?' That's what adults do. Kids, just face it…fearlessly. But they have their moments of weakness too. After all, they're kids. Take Madison Banks' story.
"It was scary. And, I was like…sometimes I cried because I thought I was going to die," laments Banks. She was six when diagnosed with Leukemia.
"I kept having headaches. My hair was falling out. I kept throwing up," remembers Banks. Now, 9-years-old, she tells me how her teacher called her mom before going home early from school. That was the beginning.
In the middle of a three-year battle, Banks and her family were connected with the team at Smile-A-Mile. That's when Kellie Reece began spending time with Banks, offering spiritual and emotional support. On top of that, probably the biggest thing Reece was able to offer through Smile-A-Mile, was hope. That hope is for life beyond the cancer diagnosis, that one day, Banks will be able to achieve her dream of becoming a police officer.
Here's part of our interview, "'Do you think you would be able to accomplish that dream without Smile-A-Mile?' 'Ummuhm. (no)' 'Why not?' 'Because they encourage me to do stuff,'" explains Banks.
Banks and Reece got together again for this interview. Although, they never really lost touch. The two sat on the sofa at the Smile-A-Mile headquarters on the Southside, before going for a walk around Railroad Park. The two talked about the upcoming Monkey C Monkey 5K, to raise money to further the mission and help other kids battling cancer.
"'They're like…they give…take time out of their day to help children with cancer.' 'What do you think about them doing that?' 'It makes me feel happy,'" says Banks, when talking about why the race is so important.