A woman awaiting a stem cell transplant is passing the time by doing what she loves most: baking.
When Elise Smith was just 18 years old, Smith was first diagnosed with thyroid cancer. She underwent two years of treatment and radiation until she was finally in remission.
The following years were difficult for Smith. She was always thinking of the “what ifs” but she tried her best to keep these negative thoughts out of her head so she could live her life.
That’s when she decided to pursue her passion of baking and begin a career as an accomplished pastry chef.
But her life was again turned upside down when she was diagnosed with myelodysplastic syndrome at age 29.
Myelodysplastic syndrome, is a group of disorders that result from poorly formed or dysfunctional blood cells. This causes tiredness, difficulty breathing, pale skin, frequent infections, easy bruising and bleeding.
A stem cell transplant is considered the only potential cure to this, so Smith was put on a waiting list. Unfortunately, she is still waiting for a donor and has to receive weekly blood transfusions to keep her stable.
At 32 years old, Smith continues to live her life to the fullest, and has never let her diagnosis stop her from baking.
Her passion for baking has even captured the attention of Joanna Gaines, who messaged Smith and told her that she would love to bake with her sometime.
The two of them baked together, and Gaines was in full approval of Smith’s delicious treats.
Smith now hosts an online workshop called “Baked from Scratch: Cakes,” where she is able to find joy beyond her diagnosis.
“As physically exhausted as I am every single day, it nourishes my spirit, and I don’t see myself giving that up anytime soon,” she told GMA.
Hear more of Smith’s inspiring story in the video below: