Cancer patient, single mom finds hope through gift

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) The past seven years have been tough for Melinda Smith. She's raising four teens on her own, while fighting for life each day.

"I don't like the term terminal because I don't plan on going anywhere anytime soon, but... I prefer stage 4. I'm stage 4 breast cancer," said Melinda Smith.

Tuesday brought a special delivery to the chemo treatment room where she's spent so many hours. The American Association for Cancer Support delivered a box of goodies including DVDs, clothes and kids toys. The group also made its first time donation of a refurbished computer, a special request from Smith.

"I've gotten to where I can't drive too well, so my children are able to have their own computer so that we don't have to try to make it to the library during their hours," said Smith.

The American Association for Cancer Support helps nearly 200 cancer patients in more than 30 states. The group sends bi-monthly packages, alternating between a care package and a gas card.

"It's awesome to see that there are so many kind people on this earth. That there are so many people in my community that have helped me out of the blue just because they know I'm having a hard time," said Smith.

Smith's family says she handles her 'hard time' better than anyone else.

"I don't know how she does it," said Melinda's mom Linda Patton.

"She's really strong. She's the strongest one of all of us," said Melinda's sister Sherry Plemens.

You can help the American Association for Cancer Support by visiting their website linked below. They accept donations of care package items and monetary donations. Organizers say spreading word of the organization is helpful too.

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