What Can I Do?


I have had countless wonderful people ask me that question. “What can I do for you?” To be honest, my response is always “I don’t know.” At this point in my life, I don’t know what I need and what I think I need one day will vary wildly to the next. One second I feel like I need to be surrounded by a hundred people so I can’t hear myself think and then the next second I need to be in complete silence and solitude. There are really only a few things I do know for sure right now: 1) I need Jesus- every hour of every day. That has never been more clear to me than now. 2) I miss my husband- every hour of every day. There simply aren’t words to describe the pain and heartache felt in his absence. 3) I’m an absolute mess. 4) It’s totally okay that I’m a mess. Grief must coexist with grace; for yourself and for others. 5) I have found happiness in very little, but anytime someone tells me they have signed up for Be the Match, I cry tears of happiness.

A few days ago, I was sitting in our closet with tears streaming down my face. I was picking out one of Andrew’s t-shirts for a friend to have made into a pillow for me. “I don’t want this to be a pillow. I want Andrew to be wearing this!” I screamed. I cried out, “Why? What is the point?” And then my phone went off. I glanced down through my tears and see a text from Chase Stigall. It read: “Moving forward with the match. Giving blood tomorrow. Could be the best match with an infant boy.” Cue the second round of waterworks…A baby boy. Can you imagine the relief of that sweet baby’s parents? Can you imagine this glimmer of hope in what I know to be a very dark, bleak time? Reality is, without this donor match, this innocent, sick baby boy dies. He dies before his life really even begins. He dies before his parents get to throw him his first birthday party. Without Be the Match, this child dies. Without willing, incredible donors like Chase Stigall, this child dies.

So what can you do for me? You can sign up for Be the Match. Seriously. That’s what you can do for me. That is what helps. The article below was written by Matt Norlander of CBS Sports. He also wrote, “A Bulldog’s Battle” the fantastic, detailed piece written last year on Andrew’s terrifying brush with death when he went without a heartbeat for 22 minutes. The CBS article below will give you the information you need and why it is so important to me, to Andrew, and to all of the cancer patients out there waiting for their match.

Please, help us continue on Andrew’s legacy. It’s too important not to.
Matt Norlander’s story: CBS Sports: Be the Match-Project 44

Or sign up here:
Or text “ANDREW” to 38470

Do for one what you wish you could do for millions.”

11 thoughts on “What Can I Do?

  1. We continue to lift you and the whole family up in prayer. My husband and I have been part of the registry for over 20 years. I have had the privilege of telling many parents that we have found a match over the years. It is truly a wonderful gift of life.

  2. So Sorry. I know this is so hard for you and the whole Smith Family. Grief is so hard. I lost our son at 20.5 years old. God’s Word says that death remains our last enemy to be destroyed. You will see Andrew again. Cling to that hope that Jesus has promised. Now I’m watching 3 other friends walk through this all lost their husbands in 2015. I’m too old to be a match or help anyone but I will pray and continue to pray for God/Christ Jesus to comfort and hold you very close. You had a wonderful loving marriage that few couples find in this world. Cling to all those wonderful memories. My love and prayers are with you, Marcia Jones

    Sent from my iPhone Marcia


  3. Thank you for this post. I continue to say thank you for the awareness you are bringing to this need but I can never really adequately thank you enough. It is truly a testament to Andrew’s character that so many who knew him have signed up for Be The Match without hesitation. We are looking forward to many more matches to come in honor of Andrew!

  4. I’m sorry that you are going thru this, but at the same time I’m relieved to know that the Donor matches are happening! I’m also praising God that it gives you some comfort in all your grief! I will continue to pray for you both and his friends and family! Your faith and love will always be your biggest comfort but knowing how his lagacy will continue is just an awesome thing to watch!
    Love in Christ
    Michele Starr

  5. Sweet Samantha…grief is so very personal and different for each of us…I admire your strengths and weaknesses for they are part of the ‘grief process’. I too need Jesus in my life…every second, minute, hour. The 10th anniversary of my Mother’s sudden death (at age 67) to a massive heart attack is 5/11. I’m still grieving but my life has ‘gone on’. I haven’t lost my husband so I can only imagine how you are feeling and my heart goes out to you. With losing my Mother so suddenly, some years it seems as though she has been gone forever and some years, this year especially, I’m reliving each day leading up to her death….our phone conversations, the last time I saw her and experienced the last hug and kiss from her. What I sometimes ask God for is one more hug…and I know I will hug her again one day and take comfort in that. Please know I’m praying for you. I follow you on Twitter and have made a few comments to your posts.

    I wanted to let you know I just tried to register for BE THE MATCH and I am not eligible. I have chronic pain and nerve damage from a back injury/surgeries over the last several years. Though I am not on any prescription pain medication, I am saddened that I’m not an acceptable candidate. I do understand though. So, I will make a donation. Stay Strong as best you can….know that you sharing yours and Andrew’s story continues to touch the lives of so many…As a 57 year old mother of a 34 & 32 year olds, I’d imagine Andrew is very proud of you!

  6. Sam- prayes

    I list my mom to AML in 01. I have been a donor since 99 when she wasxdiagnosed. I went to alot of grief counseling. Just when i was in a pretty good place, my sisters daughter age 11 was diagnosed with AML on
    March 31. 2016.

    I am totalky inconsolable but am wrapping myself in jesus.

  7. Today I signed up for Be The Match in honor of you and Andrew. My daughter graduated from Butler last May and unfortunately is unable to signup herself because of a chronic illness and the various medications she takes for it. I lost both of my parents to cancer and although neither could have been helped by this program, cancer is cancer and if I happen to be eligible to help someone else not lose someone they love, then it’s my honor. My thoughts and prayers are with you. You are truly an inspiration to all of us.

  8. Hugs to you Samantha, my son was a match last year he had always donated blood but also registered for Bone marrow donation at 18, he has been called up twice which i am told is rare, the first time there was a closer match than him and he was not needed 12 months later he was called up again and was a match to a young girl in New Zealand, we are in Australia, we are very proud of him, and you for managing to be strong you are so young to be dealing with such grief, thought and love to your family.
    Amanda xx.

  9. Thinking of you today Samantha! Following your blog, I know that today is your anniversary! I didn’t know if you are going to see this, but I wanted to offer a little support! I can’t imagine what you are going thru, but I think God would want me to try and reach out a prayer of hope for you! I hope your day is full of sweet memories and love and support from family and friends.

    Love in Christ

  10. Lost my Dad 13 months ago to the evil cancer. I am supposed to be a mature senior citizen (well, almost), yet I tear up near every single day. Sadly, I’m an old guy with 4 year old twins. Every day, one of them will do something that I know would have my father either laughing, crying or both. As I get through those moments, I’m stuck with the reality that he will never know the laughter they have to share, the wisdom they offer (that they’re totally unaware they offer). I wish you joy in the smallest of things. I pray that a comfort like you’ve never known wraps around you and holds you tightly. I hope that you are a wiser being than me and can find they joy that was meant for you and left behind with only you in mind.

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