Brave Mimi an in­spi­ra­tion

Western Suburbs Weekly - - News - Denise S. Cahill

THERE may be 13 years be­tween them, but Sam Smoothy (18) and Mimi An­der­son (5) have a lot in com­mon.

They were both di­ag­nosed with cancer un­der the age of five, en­dured chemo­ther­apy and in Sam’s case, beaten cancer.

Mimi was di­ag­nosed with leukaemia two years ago and in July fin­ished her fi­nal round of chemo­ther­apy.

“Once a month she has a check-up for two-and-a-half years, and when she hits the five-year mark she’ll be in the clear,” Mimi’s dad James An­der­son, of Mt Clare­mont, said.

Mimi’s jour­ney in­spired James and his swim­ming part­ner Cein­wen Roberts to es­tab­lish the North Cottes­loe Cold Wa­ter Clas­sic, rais­ing money for the Leukaemia Foun­da­tion.

On Sun­day, Oc­to­ber 23, 300 peo­ple are ex­pected to hit the wa­ter for the third an­nual swim, com­pet­ing for the Mimi An­der­son Cup. Sam will be one of them. The Curtin Univer­sity Com­merce stu­dent was di­ag­nosed with lym­phoblas­tic lym­phoma in his right leg when he was four-and-a-half years old.

“One day, I just told me par­ents my leg started to hurt and started to com­plain con­stantly, so mum took me to hos­pi­tal and straight away the doc­tor picked it up,” Sam said. “From there, the jour­ney be­gan in hos­pi­tal.

“I was ad­mit­ted to PMH, I had chemo for two-and-a-half years. I re­mem­ber some of the pain and spend­ing a lot of time in hos­pi­tal and I missed a lot of kindy, pre pri­mary and Year 1.” Sam got the all-clear 10 years ago. De­spite only start­ing open-wa­ter swim­ming less than three years ago, Sam has com­pleted two solo Rottnest Channel Swims, the Port to Pub 25km event and this will be his third time swim­ming for the Mimi An­der­son Cup.

Sam said Mimi’s at­ti­tude in­spired him.

“She’s so pos­i­tive, bright and chirpy, even after all she’s been through,” he said.

James said Mimi was back at St Thomas’ Pri­mary School with her friends and had started bal­let and swim­ming lessons.

St Thomas’ will host a crazy hair day on Mon­day to raise money for the Leukaemia Foun­da­tion.

Pic­ture: Andrew Ritchie­mu­ni­ d460406

Sam Smoothy, with James An­der­son and daugh­ter Mimi (5), will tackle the Cold Wa­ter Clas­sic on Sun­day.

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