MOBILE, Ala. (WALA)-- Soon Ava Smith will receive chemotherapy for the first time to treat a form of cancer mostly seen in people much older than her.

"It was Spindle Cell Sarcoma. It's a very rare type of sarcoma. It's aggressive and it's considered high grade," said her mother, Amber Smith.

Smith says her daughter has always complained about a tender spot on her right leg.

"We didn't really think anything of it until about a year ago when she started noticing that it was hurting a little bit more."

They thought it had something to do with Ava riding horses so they took a break from it.

From there the pain came and went until this past summer when Ava noticed it intensifying.

"Middle of summer is when we started noticing there was a bump there.”

Even then smith thought it could have had something to do with how active her daughter is.

"You know she's a kid and she does so many sports and just outside and playing i was like maybe you could have bumped it or something along that line."

They kept an eye on it.

"When I started seeing the protrusion on her inner thigh, actually visualize it it grew within three weeks that fast where i can see it outlined on her inner thigh."

In August an MRI showed a soft tissue mass on Ava's leg.

They were referred to Birmingham Children's Hospital.

"But at that point they weren't thinking anything bad they just wanted someone who sees tumors all the time to look at it."

Following surgery to remove the mass a second opinion was needed from Sloan Kettering Cancer Institute in New York.

"On September 11th is when we got the call."

Later this month Ava will begin eight rounds of chemo over six months partnered with five weeks of radiation.

Ava says she'll miss attending school regularly, but knows she has so much support.

"All my friends in school made me cards"

At just 11-years-old she is so brave.

"She's very curious and interested and wants to see like all the surgeries and everything on her leg which is right now I think we're at surgery number five. She doesn't look away and she's like no i want to see exactly what you're doing. Even if i'm screaming."

A GoFundMe and various fundraisers have been set up to help them while they're in Birmingham and she's unable to work.

 

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