Family in Houston for cancer treatment gets ripped off


The family had driven hundreds of miles to Houston, trying to save her life. Now that costly trip is becoming even more expensive.

It has been a tough few months for the Eric and Laura Smith and their family.

"Our daughter has a sarcoma and this is supposed to be one of the best clinics in the country," said Laura Smith, mother of Grace.

Grace Smith turns 20 years old on Saturday. She'll spend her birthday in chemotherapy at MD Anderson with her parents by her side.

"She's really, really been an inspiration to everybody, really," said Grace's father, Eric Smith.

But this trip from the family home in McRae, Georgia, to save Grace's life took an even tougher turn Monday night. Eric spent the night at the hospital, while Laura stayed at a motel near Buffalo Speedway and the South Loop.

"This night she was actually up, tossing and turning and bending over trying to get some relief," said Eric.

But what happened next left the Smiths floored.

"And I go out and find out all four of our tires had been taken off of our car," Laura said.

Sometime on Monday night, thieves had taken the tires off of the family car as it sat in the parking lot of the motel.

"I couldn't get to the hospital and I was devastated," said Laura.

The Smiths filed a report with the Houston Police Department.

The car was still sitting in the parking lot without tires Wednesday. The Smiths going back and forth to the Texas Medical Center by shuttle.

But as upsetting as the theft was to them, the focus remains on Grace.

"I just broke down and started crying, it was very overwhelming," said Laura.

"Being aggravated, being upset about it is not going to help anything," said Eric.

The Smiths say they have insurance and help from their church back in Georgia, but fixing the damage and replacing the tires will cost about $5,000.

They say they will be here for about three weeks and more trips to Houston for cancer treatment are likely in the future.

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