On April 27, 2012, I was diagnosed with Ewing sarcoma – a rare childhood bone cancer that only 200-1,000 children get a year. My life has never been the same.
I was the average teenager and had been a cheerleader since I was in 3rd grade. I always enjoyed going out with friends and having fun but when I was diagnosed, I was lucky if my counts were high enough to go to the movies. My summer plans crumbled under the word “cancer.”
I started chemotherapy treatments May 22, after recovering from a thorocotomy to remove a lung nodule that was luckily negative for cancer. In three weeks I lost my hair. In two months, I lost my eyebrows. I felt like my identity was being taken away, but I was never without a smile. I thought to myself, “I have cancer because I can beat it. Why would God challenge me with something I couldn’t conquer?”
The next few months were blurred with the same repetitive pattern: home, hospital, home, hospital. It seemed like I was at the hospital more than I was at my own home, but I had a family there. I would be nothing without the amazing nurses who cared for me. Four months after my diagnosis, I finished my first six cycles of the consolation period.We were lucky enough to be able to spend a few days in the Keys and celebrated with a cake. I had done it – six cycles and no delays.
I have trampled through five months of chemotherapy treatments, surgeries, and chest tubes and have never held my head down, never wiped the smile off my face. I believe the main reason I’m doing so well today is that I have kept an amazing attitude through everything.
No one should cry after the first day of being diagnosed because if they have faith they WILL beat it. Look at me – through chest tubes and a huge surgery extending from under my right breast to the middle of my back, I’m still here. And I definitely don’t plan on going anywhere anytime soon.
Sofia participated in the Mickey Byrne’s Irish Pub St. Baldrick’s event on Sept. 15 as an Honored Kid and raised over $6,000 dollars with her dad as part of Team Aikido. She was introduced to the St. Baldrick’s Foundation through her hospital, Joe Dimaggio’s Children’s Hospital, and her oncologist, Dr. Brian Cauff (also a shavee at the Mickey Byrne’s event).