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Family of Powell teen who lost battle with cancer offers patriotic shirts

“He fought so hard but he went peacefully in the arms of his mom, dad, and sisters,” the post reads.
Published: May. 29, 2021 at 11:20 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 8, 2021 at 4:48 PM EDT
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POWELL, Tenn. (WVLT) - A Powell teen who captured the heart of hundreds across East Tennessee lost his battle with brain cancer last week. His family is now continuing his mission of offering patriotic “All Heart” shirts.

Gunner Smith, 13, who had been battling brain cancer for three years died last week, according to a post in the Facebook group “All Heart Gunner”.

“He fought so hard but he went peacefully in the arms of his mom, dad, and sisters,” the post reads.

Gunner went to be with our Lord at 3:27pm today. He fought so hard but he went peacefully in the arms of his mom, dad,...

Posted by All Heart Gunner on Friday, May 28, 2021

Gunner played on the Powell Middle School basketball team after moving to East Tennessee from Texas with his family five years ago. His family said Gunner’s classmates and the community instantly rallied around him and supported the family.

The “All Heart” campaign, started by family friend Brandon, his wife Brittany and Gunner’s coach Jamie Meadows, was one of the things that helped Gunner fight and kept him in good spirits.

Individuals and sports teams bought the shirts to help Gunner in his fight with the disease, and before he passed he wanted to continue the cause with patriotic All Heart shirts.

“It’s that all heart mentality of always putting others first,” said Brandon Smith, Gunner’s father. “It is never complaining it’s every day you give it your best, but what we want to do moving forward is we want to figure out what is the best way to use our heart, and how do we use that to where we can start helping the families that maybe just they don’t have the kind of support that we’ve had.”

The shirts have made it all the way to Mexico, Japan and have even gotten requests from Argentina.

“It’s very humbling, to be honest with you, and the power of social media and how much the community and the country now is kind of embrace gunner story and watching it pretty much go viral is pretty amazing,” said Jamie Meadows, Gunner’s basketball coach.

Sales will continue through tomorrow night at midnight. Those interested in picking up a shirt can find them here.

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