McCall was nominated as a Young Hero by her cousin, Courtney Murchison. McCall became very ill at the age of fourteen. She was physically exhausted, sleeping 18-20 hours per day. She literally could not lift her head from her pillow and had excruciating pain that radiated all over her body. At times, she was too weak to even hold a conversation.
The family took McCall to many doctors, but they were unable to diagnose the problem. One doctor even accused her of faking the symptoms. At last, a family friend informed them about Lyme Disease. The family relayed the information to the doctors, and McCall was at last correctly diagnosed with Chronic Lyme Disease.
Courtney wrote, “McCall had to begin extensive antibiotic treatment…McCall had to leave a school that she loved and begin home-schooling because she physically could not leave the home.”
Courtney reports that McCall is blessed with an angelic singing voice. While studying at home, she continued to expand her mind, developing an interest in 16th and 17th Century literature as well as learning to play the guitar. McCall also cultivated an interest in photography and refurbishing vintage items and furniture.
Almost four years after her diagnosis, McCall still suffers from Chronic Lyme Disease. Some days are hard, but she continues to improve. McCall inspires groups by sharing her story and her beautiful singing voice. She has returned to regular school. In fact, McCall had a leading role in the Lee-Scott Academy spring play.
McCall is a member of the National Honor Society, FCA Leadership, the Spanish Club, the Environmental Club, YoungLife, the Drama Club, Show Choir, All-State Choir, Summer Show-Offs, the Thespian Society and the Anchor Club. In her community, she volunteers with the local housing authority, as well as the Alabama Lyme Disease Association, focusing on raising funds to help others fight this devastating disease.
In concluding the nomination, Courtney Murchison wrote, “Although McCall has been through many trials in her young life, she continues to be positive and to find the good amidst a sea of bad. I can honestly say that you will not find a more kind, loving, smart, positive, inspirational, and God-fearing Young Hero than McCall Smith.” The selection committee was in unanimous agreement. For all the qualities Cousin Courtney describes, McCall Smith is recognized by her school and our state as one of the 2016 Young Heroes of Alabama.