Zoe passed away on February 10, 2023, after a tragic accident when she fell 80 feet to her death at the age of 17.
Zoe was born March 5, 2005, in Arlington, Texas, to Belinda Thompson and Dale Smith.
Six days after her birth, Zoe was diagnosed with a rare blood disorder, Diamond Black Fan Anemia, which meant she could not produce her own red blood cells. She was also diagnosed with a ventricle septal defect which resulted in three holes in her heart. She endured 4 years of blood transfusions every 3 to 4 weeks and fought liver and kidney failure until a bone marrow donor with an exact match was found in Germany. After the transplant, she was on anti-rejection medication and got graft-versus-host disease. She was currently battling avascular necrosis, a disease of the bones.
This did not stop Zoe: she was a fighter and she received her transplant just days before her 4th birthday in March of 2008, after many weeks of chemotherapy. She and her mother were required to stay at the Denver Children’s Hospital for nearly 6 months during this process, and she had many complications to deal with since.
Zoe was a survivor, she had the strength of 1000 in a tiny body. She was always happy and could light up a room with her big blue eyes, amazing smile, and charming personality. Her goal was to make it to the height of 4’9” so she could drive. She only accomplished this by receiving steroid therapy and many other medications and therapies to mature.
Zoe loved being outdoors. She was an impressive horseback rider and was trained by the best. She loved snow skiing, hiking, four-wheeling, and she could do crazy things on a kneeboard and while wakeboarding. She was an incredible gymnast despite her fragile frame and stood at the top of many cheerleading pyramids.
She loved to ride her motorcycle, street or dirt, and drive her beloved Toyota Tacoma which she named “Dolly.” She could drive a stick shift with ease and taught many of her friends to do the same. Lots of days, she rode up to the high school on her motorcycle. She loved the freedom that she had while driving, and wanted to be a drifter racer someday.
She was a beautiful, sweet, spunky, loving, and caring ball of fire. She never met a stranger and would give you anything that she had, if you needed it. She had more friends than there are stars in the heavens and loved them all very much. She gave of herself selflessly and was known to always be behind the underdog or the new kids at school. She will be deeply and truly missed by everyone.
She had an amazing support group at school who were bound and determined that she would succeed, not only academically but in cheer and other school activities. Thank you to everyone there, you know who you are, and you are very much appreciated. She was the Cheer Captain and took that responsibility very seriously. She was a handful at times, but that was how she survived the many physical limitations that tried to hold her back. Zoe was scheduled to graduate in four weeks, just after her 18th birthday. She was also taking EMT classes and was on schedule to complete those.
She is her Mom Belinda’s mini-me. They were connected at the hip and could finish each other’s sentences. She loved her dearly and gave her many opportunities to grow and learn new things. Zoe had no fear. She lived her life out loud. She was living her best life ever when we lost her, but we know that she is in the heavens with no other obstacles to overcome, looking down on us all.
She is survived by her loving mother, Belinda Kay Thompson; her sister, Kirrian Kay McKinney; her fiancé, Lloyd Gist; her biological father, Dale Smith; her step-father, Cody McKinney; step-siblings, Kaci and Jason McKinney; grandparents, Rick and Cindy Thompson; numerous aunts, uncles, cousins, and her great-grandparents, Joe and Delma Vancil and Ivy Thompson Noorlander.
A celebration of life service will be held on Saturday, February 18, 2023, at 11 a.m. in the Grand County High School Gym.
You may send condolences to the family at www.spanishvalleymortuary.com.