LANCASTER COUNTY, S.C. (WBTV) - Happy birthday to this longtime one of our amazing #MollysKids. She doesn’t know this post is coming today so hopefully it’s a great surprise.
Abigale Smuda is beautiful, but it’s her inside drive that shines and makes her remarkable. We’ve been following Abby since January of 2016, when she was diagnosed with rare disease HAE (hereditary angioedema). Her mom originally reached out seeking more information on the disease.
Now we’re writing to celebrate this Lancaster County girl. Not only is she turning 18 today, but she also recently won Miss South Carolina Teen United States 2019 and will be competing in Vegas this August.
That’s not all.
Abby is the co-chairman of the Levine Children's Hospital Teen Advisory council. She says she ultimately wants to return to LCH to work as a nurse inside its NICU.
Despite being diagnosed with three more rare autoimmune diseases since we last updated her journey -- hyper mobility syndrome, POTS, and Raynaud’s syndrome -- she is now a dual enrollment student at York Preparatory Academy and University of SC in Lancaster, and will graduate high school with both her diploma AND her Associates Degree in Nursing. She then will transfer to USC in Columbia to pursue her Masters in Pediatric Medicine.
Oh, and she models in Atlanta, Chicago, NYC, and Dallas and at wedding and prom markets with various big name designers.
“She doesn't let anything stop her,” says her mom Sue Smuda. “She amazes all who know her with her strength, determination, kind heart, and strong faith."
Happy birthday, Abby. I still have the tiara you sent me years ago as one of the most heartfelt thank you gifts ever received. It sits on my desk, and I think of you every time I see it.
**Editor’s note: This is about one of #MollysKids, children WBTV Anchor Molly Grantham follows closely on her Facebook page. It was first published there, which is why it’s written in a personal way. For years Molly has followed hundreds of kids with uphill medical battles. Find this story and updates on all #MollysKids here.