Maryland boy ”Smiley Riley” is celebrating beating cancer in an 18-month fight that attracted the attention of Hollywood celebrities.
On Easter Sunday 2019 Riley was diagnosed with high-risk neuroblastoma, meaning his tumor couldn’t be removed and had spread.
His mom Ashley Whitney said Riley, who was 5 at the time, actually had multiple tumors.
“He’s gone through about five chemos, surgery to remove tumors, he’s done radiation therapy,” Ashley told ABC7 reporter Victoria Sanchez.
“I’ve seen my own child hurt and go through things that I wish I could take in his place,” the mother of four boys said.
The family had to travel back and forth while Riley started treatment at the Children’s National Hospital in Washington D.C.
He had treatment through COVID lockdown and visitations were stopped but throughout it all Riley never stopped smiling.
“Actually, he was born smiling practically, and he has always had this joyful disposition,” Ashley said, as per Fox News. “He is our Smiley Riley and he has been since day one.”
For 18 months “Smiley Riley” endured treatment and the hospital became his home. But the now 6-year-old has beaten this horrific disease and got to throw away the bag that contained his medications.
“I kicked cancer’s butt. I kicked cancer’s butt!” Riley said in a sing-song voice, during an interview with ABC7 News.
When Riley finally returned home he was met with a street parade to cheer him on where family, friends and neighbors held up signs congratulating him.
Riley’s happy disposition throughout his ordeal even attracted the attention of celebrities. Hollywood stars Kristen Bell and Chris Hemsworth both spoke to Riley through a video call.
September is Childhood Cancer Awareness month so lets honor all the medical staff who do all they can to save the lives of those kids who have to endure the unimaginable and share this story.