After her chemotherapy treatment concluded, her CT and PET scans were clear, and the doctor confirmed that Sophia was in remission. She then began a course of radiation. She had 14 treatments and completed them just before Christmas of 2014. Sophia’s follow up scans continued to show good news, and she was able to return to school in January, after Christmas break.
Sophia’s introduction to Make-A-Wish came at the end of her treatment and was almost like a sign to us that our journey through cancer would have a happy ending. Sophia wished to go to Walt Disney World® Resort and stay at the Animal Kingdom Lodge. Sophia wants to be a zoologist when she grows up and is fascinated with animals, especially elephants. She is constantly looking at videos of elephants online and reading about them.
Sophia’s wish granters were amazing. They managed to make her wish reveal one of Sophia’s most special days ever. They arranged for a trip to the circus, where Sophia got to meet the trainers and feed and pet the elephants. One of the elephants actually held up a sign revealing that Sophia’s wish to go to Walt Disney World® Resort had been granted and that we were leaving for Florida the next day! She was so stunned that she didn’t believe it until she saw her wish granters. She also got to be the guest ringmaster for the evening. It was a wonderful night for all of us.
Our stay in Florida was everything Sophia had wished it would be. The Animal Kingdom lodge gave us a room that overlooks their savannah. Every morning, Sophia and her sister, Bella, would run to the balcony to see which animals were outside. It was so thrilling to wake up and see zebras and giraffes walking around right outside our room! The look on Sophia’s face every morning was priceless.
Sophia visited all of the theme parks, including Universal and Seaworld, and was treated like a VIP everywhere she went. Disney took such good care of our family. This trip was Sophia’s wish, but by granting Sophia’s wish, Make-A-Wish granted her Father’s and my wish too. Seeing Sophia really be able to enjoy herself, and seeing the delight and wonder in her face every day was like a dream come true for us. It is so hard to see your child go through cancer. You see and deal with things every day that are heartbreaking and soul crushing. We feel so fortunate that Sophia is in remission and doing well. Sophia is the strongest little girl I have ever seen. She beat cancer, and we pray she continues to stay healthy. The doctors gave Sophia her health back, but Make-A-Wish gave Sophia her spirit and hope back. As her parents, we are eternally grateful. It is a debt that we can never repay.