Landen Smith is a 10 year-old boy from Sherrill who's spent his entire life in and out of hospitals. He was born with a rare immune disorder called XIAP deficiency.

"He was always a sick baby, but visits to the pediatrician left us with essentially nothing to go on, other than 'it's viral,'" says Landen's mom Rebecca Smith.

The only cure for Landen is a bone marrow transplant, but XIAP is the most difficult immunodeficiency to transplant successfully. He's been on the bone marrow registry for 2 years and they still don't have a match that they'd hoped for. "His treatment has been a rollercoaster ride of high hopes followed by huge disappointments," says Smith. "Unfortunately, we have not had success with any treatment."

Rebecca Shedd

Landen isn't a typical 10 year-old boy. "He is so wise and has been forced to grow up so fast," says Smith. "He's been robbed of his childhood. Landen has spent more time fighting than playing, building or dreaming and it's not fair."

Landen will be going in for a transplant within the next 3 to 6 months, despite hopes for a perfect match. "His doctors feel it isn't safe to wait anymore, so we now must swallow this pill of greater uncertainty and plunge into an already risky transplant."

As a mother, Smith says it's so difficult to see her son go through such a terrible ordeal. "Any parent would wish to trade places, but you can't. You have to put on your brave face and be there to assure them everything will be alright, even though you're in pieces inside and scared as hell."

A benefit is planned for Landon at the Community Action Center in Sherrill Sunday, March 12th from 1-5pm. A GoFundMe campaign is also set up to help the family cover medical costs.

Keep up to date on Landen's progress on Team Landen Smith's Facebook page.

Landen is a warrior and Smith says prayers and support is what helps her get through such a difficult time. "He is brave and so strong that I know he will get through this. The love and support from our friends, family and the community have given us a lot of strength and I know God is on our side."

Rebecca Shedd