8-year-old fights cancer, rules the swimming pool

Mike Krumboltz

Elizabeth Smith, an 8-year-old girl from Erlanger, Ky., was diagnosed with bone cancer at the age of 6. Two years later, she's still fighting the deadly disease—and competing in swim meets.

WLWT-TV reports that Smith raced at a swim meet on Sunday and finished first in her 100-meter heat and third overall. She also finished first in her heat of the butterfly stroke. All this despite ongoing chemotherapy treatments, which can leave even the most fit adults exhausted and nauseated.

Elizabeth seems to get energy from the pool, according to an interview she gave to WLWT. "I like how it feels in the water," she said. "It feels refreshing, and it makes me feel stronger."

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She added: "Sometimes on steroids my legs feel like jelly and they feel weak, but swimming makes me feel better."

Her mom, Tina Smith, is understandably proud of her daughter. "I've never seen a child with such heart and such drive and such passion for life. It's really incredible to watch, and it's awesome that I get to see that every day," she said.

This was Elizabeth's last meet of the season. She'll continue on with her medication and chemo treatments. Her mom said, "It's just such a long journey. I remind myself every day, it is a marathon. It's not a sprint, as they are sprinting in the pool."