Maryville toddler with cancer helped by strangers, officer during emergency

(source: Monica Woods)

MARYVILLE (WATE) – A Maryville mom is sharing a heartfelt message of thanks to some strangers who helped her out during a family emergency last week, including a Tennessee Highway Patrol trooper.

Life for Monica Woods is anything but easy. She’s a single mom raising three young kids in Blount County, including 2-year-old twins Addyson and Peyton and 9-year-old Jonathan. Playful and smiling Addyson was diagnosed with leukemia.

Previous story: Family of Blount County girl battling leukemia needs help

Woods had to quit her job in the health care field to take care of Addyson.

“I’ve taken care of cancer patients in the past and I know how rough it can be. For her to have the smile on her face that she does through most all of it, even after throwing up she’s smiling. She’s a tough little girl,” Woods said.

Last week the family was on their way to East Tennessee Children’s Hospital for another one of Addyson’s many cancer treatments when the car battery died at a busy intersection in Maryville.

“My hazard lights would not work and there was a bunch of traffic coming through. The first thing I could think was somebody is not going to see us stopped here and they’re going to come flying up and they’re going to hit us,” Woods said. “Pretty much panic. Her counts weren’t good enough the week prior to do chemo and spinal tap so it was pretty important that she have it done that day when it was scheduled.”

With no one to call for help and no money to fix her car, the desperate mom started praying for a miracle. Soon after that, several strangers came to her rescue. The first to stop was Bud Markham. He was on his way to work, but stopped what he was doing to spend the morning getting Monica’s car fixed for free. In the meantime, THP Trooper Ernest Marion was on duty when he saw the stranded family and drove them to the hospital in his patrol car, making the kids laugh along the way by demonstrating the high tech gear in his car.

SLIDESHOW: 2-year-old Addyson West and family
SLIDESHOW: 2-year-old Addyson West and family

“We get to the hospital and he went above and beyond. He tried to give me $40 to get lunch that day with and I told him no he did enough. He said, ‘No I don’t need this she can get lunch for today,’ so he handed it to Addyson and told her to have a great day. He also told us he had twins himself twin girls so I think she hit a special spot with him. He was a very wonderful man and if it was not for them that day I don’t know how we would have gotten to the hospital because the car wouldn’t do anything,” Woods said.

THP says they’re happy to hear one of their own went above and beyond to help this family. We’re reaching out to Officer Marion to see if he has any comment to this story.

You can follow Addyson’s journey on her Facebook page Team Addyson her fight against cancer. If you would like to help the family out, donations can be made to her account at any Regents Bank location under the name Addyson West or on the family’s GoFundMe account.

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