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      An inspiring story from the daughter of former Mayor Charlie Smithgall (click here for the Facebook entry):

      I’d like to share a story about my dad….. a story of how I think that sometimes there’s a reason for everything that happens …. even the bad things. As most of you know on October 23rd the unthinkable happened at our pharmacy. We were robbed at gunpoint and my dad not only defended himself, the employees and a customer … he was beat up and knocked around and bruised by the bad guy in a lengthy struggle that ended up with my dad being hurt, and everyone there being shaken up, left with nightmares and a new kind of fear they never had before. 

      My dad was taken away in an ambulance to get medical treatment and be observed in the Lancaster General Hospital. While he was there he had a CT scan to check for internal bleeding and they didn’t find any. But they did find a mass on his kidney. Fast forward till this Monday when my dad had his biopsy and after lots of doctors appointments over the past month and a half and tests and second and third opinions we found out it was cancerous and today at FoxChase in Philadelphia my dad had a partial kidney resection (meaning they were able to save 50% of his kidney) remove the tumor which basically doubled in size since October and are very optimistic that they got it all and it didn’t spread. But what if that awful day in October hadn’t happened, how long would it have been till they found it, till he had symptoms, till it spread around his body??? 

       My dads doing well tonight. My mom and Jon spent the day at the hospital, waited during the 5 hour surgery and got to spend time with him after. At 9 tonight my dad called me to say hi and say what he’d like brought in tomorrow. He’s got a long recovery ahead of him and he’s got a pretty good amount of pain tonight. But he’s doing great so far and the surgery went well and that’s the best news I could have heard. I’m so lucky to have him, but he’s so much luckier that they found this early and they were able to help him. Hug those around you a little tighter tonight, tell them you love them …. for you never know what tomorrow might bring. 

       Please keep my dad in your thoughts as he recovers over the next few weeks. It’s hard for me to put into words what I want to say.. I’m not really a religious person, but I’ll try…. To whomever or whatever is out there watching over my dad and all of us, thank you from the bottom of my heart for this good news, for the discovery of his issue, for watching over his doctors and nurses whom were able to help him and to my amazing and supportive friends and family for thinking of us all… thank you. It’s ironic that the worst day of his life actually may have saved his life. ❤️🤗❤️🤗


  1. Ohwellist says:

    Why is he painted to be distraught with nightmares in fear by daughter but was waving to the public in a good mood smiling not in fear or distraught when being escorted to ambulance..

  2. huh? says:

    Thanks for posting this Becky. Charlie was a friend of my now deceased father in law. He would be so happy that they found this and treatment was available.

    The only thing that stood out in a way that puzzled me was the stretch of time that it took to diagnose and then operate. It must have not been so evident that it was a malignant tumor right away.

  3. barry in winnipeg says:

    This is an amazing story, and my prayers and good wishes to go with our former Mayor and his family. For whatit’s worth, a great Christian personage, Corrie ten Boom, once used her embroidery to illustrate her believe in Providence. She said, in effect, God sees the emerging pattern, while all we see is “the under side.” But, occasionally, we do see little glimpses, such as this, of the “upper side” of this mystery we call life!