Sophia’s mom calls her “one energetic ball of sass” and dubs her the “happiest kiddo you will ever meet!” You wouldn’t know from her bubbly personality and utterly adorable smile all that she has been through over the past two years.
After 6 months of migraines and several ER and pediatrician trips with no answers, a pediatric ophthalmologist discovered Sophia had no vision in her right eye. An MRI showed that Sophia had an aggressive brain tumor that spread to the lining of her brain and spine.Sophia endured a year of chemo that failed to halt her tumor growth. Her doctors then put her on inhibitor drugs in hopes shrinking the tumor, but they caused painful side effects, including severe nail bed infections and ingrown toenails. This
summer, Sophia’s medical team stopped the treatment to give her body an opportunity to heal in hopes she will have a better and more comfortable response to treatment, which resumed this month.
Emotionally, Sophia has handled it all really well. “She often says she wishes she didn’t have to go to the hospital,” says her mom, “but she is grateful for the friends she’s made throughout.”
A family friend recommended that they reach out to ECF early in Sophia’s diagnosis. “Caseworker Dina has been wonderful,” Sophia’s mom says. “Dina checks in regularly, and ECF has provided gifts and gift cards that helped us greatly through the holidays.”
Sophia loves animals, being outside, and going to the boardwalk. She wants to be a K9 Officer when she grows up. She also loves taking mixed martial arts. She began right before her diagnosis, but had to pause due to covid and her treatment. Despite some left side weakness and severe neuropathy in her left leg, Sophia is back taking her beloved martial arts classes.
The family has coped by staying busy. “My goal is for Sophia and her older sister Isabella to not ONLY think of cancer when they look back on their childhood.” They try to attend as many events as possible and do fun family activities. “We are just making as many wonderful memories as possible while staying optimistic.” Sophia’s mom says, “We like to say we are fighting cancer with a smile.”