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Noel’s Story

This website is for everyone in the extended circle of friends/family of the Smiths and Lambiottes to keep updated on Noel's battle with brain cancer. Noel, Hannah, baby Emma, and fur-baby Ozzie are grateful for your kindness and love. We've all appreciated your thoughts, prayers, and encouragement over the course of this journey. Thanks so much for being part of our lives. 

Noel's journey began on June 12, 2008 when he had a series of three seizures followed by excruciating headaches. Hannah took him to the emergency room to learn some devastating news. Noel had a mass on his brain and would go through a surgery/biopsy three short days later to determine what the mass was.

He came through the surgery but they were later told they would be leaving for Houston to see some neurospecialists at one of the best cancer hospitals in the country. When they left for Houston, they knew it was a tumor but they didn't find out it was malignant until they met with the doctors at MD Anderson.

Noel underwent several scans and procedures to prepare for an incredibly invasive brain surgery where the doctors were able to remove about 65% of the tumor. After further analysis, the doctors told Hannah and Noel that he was fighting a stage 3 anaplastic astrocytoma.

He pulled through the surgery fine, and after recovery underwent radiation and chemotherapy that began on July 28, 2008.

His recovery was deemed sufficient for "remission" classification until late May, 2010 when a routine MRI checkup at MD Anderson in Houston discovered a new growth. A craniotomy on the new tumor in June discovered that it was a Grade IV glioblastoma multiforme (GBM). Noel began a hardcore medical regimen on July 26 to combat the aggressiveness of the GBM and hopefully restore some of his deteriorating motor function.  

The chemo infusions (Avastin & CPT-11) achieved moderate success on the new growth, reducing the tumor's size by 75%. However, on Friday, September 17, Noel began struggling with mobility and nausea while at home, to the point that he was hospitalized. A CT-scan revealed a mid-line shift, where the right hemisphere of his brain had swelled into the left side. The doctors announced that little more could be done medically to fight the cancer, so with heavy hearts the family had Noel transferred to hospice care in Springdale, AR on Monday, Sept. 20.

Family and friends have visited Noel & Hannah at the hospice every day for over two weeks now, and Noel proves he is still a fighter. Hannah is in her third trimester of pregnancy, with baby Emma due on November 9. The conclusion of this journey remains a mystery, but the families both trust in God.   

Hannah and Noel have had to go through the stuff that people at their age aren't supposed to go through. Their days have been full of waiting on doctors updates, MRIs, radiation, chemo, injections, and infusions. Through all of this, they both remain incredibly strong and firm of faith.

Hannah and Noel want to say thank you to each and every one of you for your continued prayers and support.

Latest Journal Update


Hey everyone: 

This is Hannah. Tonight I post with some awful news. No doubt all of you who followed Noel's CaringBridge journal the past two and a half years have come to know and love our dear friend Jimmy Swansbrough. I am so sad to inform you that his father, Robert Henry Swansbrough, passed away this afternoon after suffering from a heart attack a little over a week ago.

Jimmy, his fiance Annie, his sister Christy and mom Mary were there for Noel and I every step of his journey, lifting us up and providing endless love and support in so many ways. Now, I hope that we can all shower them with the same love and support as they struggle with this devastating loss. 

If you'd like to send a note or card, addresses are below. I will post information on where they'd like memorials or flowers sent as soon as the information is available. 

Jimmy's address: 615 Young Ave. Chattanooga, TN 37405

Mrs. Mary Swansbrough: 31 Hidden Brook Lane  Signal Mountain, TN 37377
Please keep the entire Swansbrough family in your prayers.