The heart of a budding activist

Information and photos provided by Sofia’s mom

Yesterday, current cancer fighting patient Sofia had a fun reason to visit Levine Children’s Hospital.  As Sophia’s mom put it… “Today, we were able to celebrate with our own personal super hero, Dr. Joel Kaplan (Sofia’s head oncologist), as he received a grant from Hyundai Hope on Wheels.  Bonus:  the kids got to put their handprints on his white lab coat and on a brand new car!”

Dr. Kaplan and Levine Children’s Hospital was awarded a $50,000 Impact Grant from Hyundai Hope on Wheels.  This award was presented for his proven track record in providing excellent patient care to families affected by pediatric cancer and to support his continued efforts.  We couldn’t be more thrilled with this news, Dr. Kaplan not only is Sofia’s personal super hero… he was Isabella’s as well.

Sofia was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia in January of 2016 at the age of 7.  Before cancer, she was a happy, carefree 2nd grader who played soccer, took all kinds of dance classes, loved arts, crafts, hula-hooping, American Girl dolls and playing with friends and her big brother, Sam. She was blessed with such a sweet and normal childhood.  In the last 1.5 years since our lives were turned upside down, Sofia has continually amazed us with her courage and resilience. Every day we look at her and wonder how such a small girl can possibly withstand all the endless appointments, needles, pokes, tests, chemos, medications and hospital stays without even complaining or feeling sorry for herself.  Our favorite quote that seems to sum Sofia up perfectly is “Though she be but little, she is fierce.”
Sofia is still in treatment and will continue on her chemo regimen until May 2018 for a total of nearly 2.5 years.  We are extremely grateful that she is currently doing well and we are all trying to live as normally as possible between her rounds of chemo at Levine Children’s Hospital.  Sofia has even enjoyed being back in school with her friends after being homebound for one full year.  She still loves all things artsy and creative, especially designing new outfits and accessories for her dolls. She is learning to sew and hopes to be a fashion designer when she grows up. Sofia is excited that she was recently asked to be the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s 2018 Charlotte Girl of the Year because she hopes to inspire people to take action in the fight against pediatric cancer.  Behind her shy exterior lies the heart of a budding activist!

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