Alex Smith’s daughter Sloane is recovering from a brain tumor

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Former NFL quarterback Alex Smith praised the strength of his “cute, selfless, intelligent, hilarious, funny, fun-loving” daughter and announced that she is recovering from brain surgery to remove a “very rare malignant tumor.”

Smith wrote on Instagram on Saturday that Sloane, the youngest of his three children with his wife Elizabeth and their only daughter, died on March 10.

He explained that doctors informed the Smiths that she “had a large brain tumor and needed an emergency craniotomy.”

Ten hours of surgery at Stanford Children’s Health was “the most agonizing time of our lives,” he wrote. Neurosurgeons, he said, removed the entire tumor and Sloan “in her true form — recovering from brain surgery like a rock star!” She didn’t miss a beat.”

However, the pathology noted that she had “a very rare malignancy with very few documented cases — with no clear treatment plan. We are currently awaiting further testing and are collecting as many opinions as possible from doctors across the country to determine the best way forward. We wish this was simple, clear-cut, and someone gave us guidance. It’s anything but that.”

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The 6-year-old is “healed” and “back to her bubbly self.” Sing, dance, laugh and be comfortable.” He added, “Most of all, she’s an incredibly strong girl who carries a lot of struggle within her.”

Smith thanked “our amazing medical team, family, friends, acquaintances and even a few strangers who have touched our lives over the past month and a half. We were struggling to keep up with calls, texts, communication and trying to keep our loved ones in the loop. This was by far the most challenging time we’ve ever been through. We know it’s not over and we have a journey ahead of us, but we wouldn’t have gotten this far without you all.”

Alex and Elizabeth spoke candidly about his long recovery and comeback from the broken leg that ended his NFL career, shared the story with ESPN and spoke about how an infection put his life in jeopardy. He apologized in his post for appearing “withdrawn” in the face of this challenge.

“We’re sorry if we seem withdrawn. It’s because we… We’ve been inundated with doctor appointments, scans, labs, and trying our best to navigate through it. Most importantly, we heal together as a family.”