Ex-Chiefs QB Alex Smith Speaks Candidly on Daughter’s Brain Tumor

Alex Smith

Getty Former Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith in 2017.

Many of us are familiar with the expression: life isn’t fair. Whether we’ve experienced trauma or heartbreak ourselves or witnessed others suffer hard times, that saying often accompanies a feeling of hopelessness and despair.

Having said that, sometimes miracles bring us back. Former Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith certainly knows something about poor luck and unimaginable trauma — both firsthand, with his life-threatening leg injury, and in the case of his daughter, Sloane, who was diagnosed with a brain tumor in May of 2022.

Along with Smith’s candid admissions on the discovery, Jonathan Abrams detailed the story of Sloane Smith during an incredible story with The New York Times on September 1.

Ex-Chiefs QB Alex Smith Never Feared for Himself After His Leg Injury, But Felt ‘Helpless’ When It Came to His Daughter

“[Smith had] never been scared, he said, when doctors mentioned his right leg might have to be amputated. Or when he lined up under center and put that leg in the sights of 300-pound men sent to crush him,” Abrams relayed within the article. “Smith still felt like he had some level of control. It was his body on the line.”

The reporter then quoted the QB, who voiced honestly: “It’s different when it’s your little girl and you’re helpless with how terrifying that is.”

Abrams headlined his feature story with that quote, likely realizing the weight of the words after everything Smith had gone through in the years leading up to his daughter’s bout with a brain tumor. “You just have no idea what it means,” Smith opened up to Abrams later. “The words brain tumor are terrifying.”

Fortunately, after two challenging operations for Smith and his family, Sloane was able to make it out the other side after battling for her life.

“Doctors were not able to remove Sloane’s entire tumor, which was later found to be malignant, in the first surgery, so she needed a second 10-hour procedure this spring,” Abrams noted, quoting Smith again: “We found out last fall that essentially that they had missed a piece, that there was a little piece in there left over.” The family now lives “scan to scan,” according to the ex-NFL signal-caller, but the alternative was obviously much, much worse.

The New Normal for Alex Smith & His Family

Although they both know their little girl may not be fully cured, Smith and his wife, Elizabeth, are trying their best to live in the moment — for the sake of their family and their daughter.

“I spent so many times going down these rabbit holes of what I’ll ever be able to do again and my prognosis,” Smith told Abrams. “And what does that do for you? It’s not doing any good and certainly it’s far harder as a parent, but no different.”

Continuing: “I don’t know if you get any better at it. This is something that’s so much bigger and harder. Do you get better at compartmentalizing? I don’t know. I don’t know. I’m not sure.”

Elizabeth Smith also spoke with Abrams about her daughter.

“This is something that I don’t know where the end is,” she acknowledged. “We don’t know because of the rarity of her tumor, when it will pop [its] head back, if it will pop its head back.”

But in the moment, the mother of three voiced that Sloane is “a little badass,” adding: “[Our children] know that you can overcome things, and you can fight through, and you can go back to living your life. Right? They got to go through that journey with their dad. I think it’s probably hopeful for them, right?”

According to Abrams, Sloane’s goal is “to dance competitively” someday. You can read the full-length feature by following this link.

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