Abounding Joy - Todd and Diane Smith
You don’t have to spend much time with Todd and Diane Smith to see what quality has gotten the couple through the recent string of trials they have faced together: joy.
Todd and Diane both have smiles that brighten the room, and their engaging personalities make you feel immediately at ease. The Pleasant Shade couple is well known for their involvement with several local Sonic restaurants, with Todd managing the West Main location in Lebanon, and Diane in Carthage. The abounding joy they exude would never hint of the battles they both have recently waged for their health.
Despite receiving clear mammogram results in October of 2012, Diane found a lump in her breast in December of that same year. After a biopsy confirmed a cancer diagnosis, she began treatment in February of 2013. Diane continued to work throughout her treatments and maintained a positive attitude despite her diagnosis, “I wanted to show the kids at work that I could be there, despite not feeling well,” Diane says. Not one to let life get her down, Diane maintained a positive outlook and stayed active throughout her treatment, even wrangling a 42-pound fish by herself caught from the Cumberland River. “When I said I was too weak and my arms were too tired and I couldn’t do it, my family told me to just keep reeling!” Diane laughs. After undergoing five months of chemotherapy treatment, Todd and Diane got the devastating news that her cancer had not shrunk at all. Doctors then placed Diane on an antibody therapy that was still in the test phases, and the treatment proved to be effective at shrinking the cancer. “It was a long haul. But having God in your life is what gets you through,” Diane says. While Diane underwent her treatment, Todd was by her side, cheering her on and praying for her. “One afternoon I prayed to God to heal her and to let it be me instead,” Todd says. “After that prayer, I had overwhelming peace that she was going to be ok.”
Diane faced several more months of treatments, including radiation and further scans before receiving the news that she was finally in remission. In January of 2019, Todd received his own diagnosis of prostate cancer, and the prognosis did not look good. Devastated, Todd reached out to Imerman Angels, an organization that pairs cancer survivors with new patients facing a similar diagnosis, for support. “It was such an encouragement to talk to someone who had been there,” Todd says. Todd’s surgery was scheduled for May, and on the day of the surgery, Todd was ready. “We had prayed about it; I had a peace, and I was ready to go,” says Todd. After surgery, Todd’s doctor shared the happy news that even he was surprised by how well the surgery had gone. Recently, Todd received word that his PSA levels are undetectable. “If anyone ever doubts that there is a God, you don’t have to look much further than Diane and me to see otherwise,” Todd shares. “It is a miracle that we are here.”
Though Todd and Diane are both still under care of their doctors and continue to face further testing and perhaps treatment, the couple maintains their joy and positive outlook. The Sherry’s Run Executive Board is excited to announce that the 16th annual Sherry’s Run 5K Run/Walk will be held in honor of Todd and Diane Smith. “The Smiths and Sonic are longtime supporters of Sherry’s Run and are always willing to supply our organization with whatever we need before we even ask,” says Sherry’s Run Executive Board Member Kevin Bass. “We are excited to honor such an inspirational couple at this year’s event.”