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      Family needs help after bills from son's cancer, heart transplant pile up

      A t the age of five , M arshall Smith has already gone through more than most people experience in a lifetime.

      A t the age of five , M arshall Smith has already gone through more than most people experience in a lifetime.

      I t started with a heart transplant when he was 10 months old .

      " Unfortunately for transplant patients their immune systems are compromised so they are susceptible to everything in life there more susceptible to certain kinds of cancers and childhood diseases," Amber Smith, Marshall's mother said.

      A few years later , he was diagnosed with cancer and he won the battle. But it came back for a second round, which he also won.

      A nd while this sounds like a nightmare for any child , M arshall has survived and done so with high spirits.

      " I think maybe he was put here to teach the world a lesson that if you can go through all of this and be happy then what are we all complaining about ," Smith said.

      L ast week , M arshall's body began to reject the heart that he rec ei ved more than four years ago. H e became very sick and was taken to a hospital in Detroit to be treated.

      T hese trips have become all too familiar for the Smith family, a number of complications over the years have forced them to try anything.

      "W e battled it , but it was all experimental medicine so everything had to be paid for by us you know Insurance companies don't want to foot the bill if it is not FDA approved," Smith said.

      U nfortunat e ly , M arshall's parents have had to pay thousands out of pocket for these special treatments not covered by insurance . A nd they have had to make sacrifices as a family to keep up with this massive stack of bills.

      " We just pay for it we go without so he can just be here I would live in a cardboard box before I would let Marshall die ," Smith said.

      The family has set up a site where people can go to help Marshall.