Man Raising Money to Help High School Sweetheart, 20, with Stage 4 Cancer: 'Forever Grateful'

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Haley Smith
Haley Smith

GoFundMe Haley Smith

One South Carolina man is going above and beyond to support his girlfriend, who is battling stage 4 cervical cancer for the second time.

After completing her freshman year at college, Haley Smith — whose cancer has metastasized to her lymph nodes and lungs — had to take a medical leave to move back home, according to a GoFundMe created to raise money for medical and living expenses.

In order to help, Smith's boyfriend Mateo Montalvo came up with the idea of donating all of the money he makes detailing cars to the family, according to WMBF News.

"I'm very happy I'm doing this for them," Montalvo, who began dating Smith in high school, told the outlet.

"You can get your car detailed anywhere. Maybe that place does a better job than I do. But it doesn't have the same cause," he continued. "It doesn't have the same heart."

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"We will forever be grateful for having Mateo and his family be a part of our lives," read a post on a Facebook page documenting Smith's fight against cancer.

"His mother has been a second mother to Haley from the start. She has also been a rock for me to turn to, when I needed to break down. It's no wonder Mateo is the man he is," the post continued.

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Smith previously battled the same type of cervical cancer before, losing both of her ovaries at age 17, according to the GoFundMe.

She is currently receiving radiation and chemotherapy and "has had stents placed in both kidneys and continues to have additional medical complications pop up," reads a post on the fundraising page, which has raised over $1,100 as of Friday.

At home, Smith lives with her seven younger siblings — two of whom have health challenges of their own — as well as her father, a disabled Marine Corp. veteran who struggles with PTSD and recently "suffered the loss of his small business during the pandemic," the post continues.

"The family has not had the ability to focus on one traumatic situation, and has been forced to spread resources to try to cover all of them at one time," the post reads. "Imagine the devastation of worrying how you are going to continue to pay living expenses, while covering the cost of travel and treatment to keep your child alive."

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No matter what obstacles have come their way, Smith's family has continued to stand by their daughter.

Earlier this week, after Smith made the "difficult" decision to shave her head, her father made a moving gesture — insisting on shaving his off first.

"My husband isn't the warm and fuzzy type," Smith's mom wrote on Facebook, adding that both she and her daughter were moved by his gesture.

"He handed Haley the clippers and asked her to do his first," Smith's mom continued. "Haley and I both got teary eyed. She told her dad he didn't have to, and he told her no Warrior goves into battle alone."

Continuing, she added, "In some culture, cutting ones hair is a right of passage, or shows a bout of character growth. In our family, it is preparation for war. We are all prepared to fight with her and for her."