Carcross family of baby with cancer seeks help

A Carcross family is asking Yukoners for help after their seven-week-old son was diagnosed with a rare cancer. Emmett Smith is the son of Michael Smith and Charlotte Francis.

A Carcross family is asking Yukoners for help after their seven-week-old son was diagnosed with a rare cancer.

Emmett Smith is the son of Michael Smith and Charlotte Francis.

“Michael comes from a big family here in Carcross,” said Donnie Smith, Michael’s brother.

“He’s a member of the Carcross/Tagish First Nation, of the Daklaweidi clan.”

Emmett has been in hospital in Vancouver for about a week, and has begun chemotherapy, said Donnie.

“He has been diagnosed with a very rare liver cancer. It’s a pretty hard name to pronounce. It’s called heptoblastoma.”

Emmett is the youngest of four children in the family.

The doctors say he will have to go through 18 weeks of chemotherapy before he may be eligible for surgery.

That has put the family in a difficult financial position, said Donnie.

“Financially it’s a pretty big burden for them, to be down there. It will help them with plane fare to fly back and forth, when the baby needs chemo, or anything else that may come up. It will help them financially as far as their living goes, as well. At this moment they are both unable to work.”

The community of Carcross has come together in support of the family. Posters have gone up around town letting residents know about the situation, and the First Nation is collecting donations.

“They all seem to be pulling together and helping as much as they can,” said Donnie.

“It looks like there’s donations coming in, and the First Nation is helping out as well.”

It’s a hard time for the family, but they are doing alright, he said.

“They’re doing OK. He’s gone through one treatment already of chemo, and he seems to be OK so far. I haven’t heard anything new on it.”

He said he doesn’t know what Emmett’s prospects for beating the cancer and recovering.

“I haven’t heard anything, but it must be fairly good news because they are going through the treatment and everything,” said Donnie.

“He’s breathing and playing around and everything like he would.

“I just want to say thank you to everybody that’s helped and donated so far. Michael and Charlotte appreciate that very much.”

As of Friday morning, an online fundraiser that was set up Thursday afternoon had raised about $1,200 towards a $10,000 goal.

Some donors have left messages of support for Emmett and his family.

“May Baby Emmett come through this with a clean bill of health. Be strong and stay positive. Know you have lots of family praying for you,” wrote one supporter.

To make a donation for the family, visit

Contact Jacqueline Ronson at

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Commissioner of Yukon Anglique Bernard, in her role as Chancellor of the Order of Yukon, announced the 2020 Order of the Yukon inductees in a statement Dec. 2. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Order of Yukon inductees announced

Ten Yukoners will receive territory’s highest honour

The primary goal of the new relief package for tourism operators is to support the tourism sector, whether they’re private industry or not-for-profit organizations, said Tourism and Culture Minister Jeanie McLean. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Relief program offers funds for businesses that rely on tourists for more than half their revenue

Two new streams of funding, in addition to the accommodation relief program, were announced

Yukonomist Keith Halliday
YUKONOMIST: Climate emergency, lite edition

Back in September 2019, Whitehorse City Council declared a climate emergency, to… Continue reading

Yukon Employees’ Union says a lack of staff training and high turnover at the Whitehorse Emergency Shelter is creating a dangerous situation for underpaid workers. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Yukon Employees’ Union says lack of training at emergency shelter leading to unsafe situations

Health and Social Services Minister Pauline Frost said the staffing policy “is evolving”

Justice Karen Wenckebach will begin serving as resident judge on the Yukon Supreme Court early next year. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
All-female justice roster ‘a good step’ for diversity in Yukon Supreme Court

Karen Wenckebach is the third woman appointed to the Yukon Supreme Court in history

A sign outside the Yukon Inn Convention Centre indicates Yukoners can get a flu vaccine inside. As of Dec. 4, the vaccinations won’t be available at the convention centre. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Whitehorse Convention Centre ends flu vaccination service early

Flu vaccinations won’t be available at the Whitehorse Convention Centre after Dec.… Continue reading

In 1909, Joseph Kavetzki took over Brown’s Harness Shop, depicted here, reconstructed, 90 years later. Third Avenue in Dawson, south of Princess Street, was the heart of the blue collar industrial section of gold rush Dawson. (Michael Gates/Yukon News)
History Hunter: The Yukon is rich in hidden history

I had worked for a few months in my new position as… Continue reading

Today’s mailbox: Kindness, shingles and speed limits

Letters to the editor published Dec. 4, 2020

COMMENTARY: Land use planning must include industry

Carl Schulze Special to the News This commentary is a response to… Continue reading

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
City hall, briefly

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council this week

Nominations continue to be open for Northern Tutchone members of the White River First Nation to run for councillors in the 2021 election. (Maura Forrest/Yukon News File)
White River First Nation to elect new chief and council

Nominations continue to be open for Northern Tutchone members of the White… Continue reading

The Town of Watson Lake has elected John Devries as a new councillor in a byelection held Dec. 3. (Wikimedia Commons)
Watson Lake elects new councillor

The Town of Watson Lake has elected John Devries as a new… Continue reading

The new Little Salmon Carmacks First Nation council elected Dec. 1. (Submitted)
Little Salmon Carmacks elects new chief, council

Nicole Tom elected chief of Little Salmon Carcmacks First Nation

Most Read