St. Jude patient Sofia, age 5, neuroblastoma

Sofia's St. Jude treat

When Sofia’s family learned she had cancer, they were referred to St. Jude and made the long trip from Ecuador. But when they arrived, they felt right at home. Sofia even got to trick-or-treat in the halls of St. Jude for Halloween. 

When Sofia’s family learned she suffered from neuroblastoma, they traveled from their home in Ecuador to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital for her care. They arrived in April 2014. At St. Jude, Sofia’s treatment has included chemotherapy, radiation therapy, immune therapy, and a transplant where she received her mother’s natural killer cells (NK cells).

Despite difficult treatment, Sofia loved coming to the hospital, where she could play with the friends she made or make arts and crafts with volunteers. One event Sofia especially enjoyed was the Halloween celebration at St. Jude. Sofia loved dressing up like the Flash and trick-or-treating at St. Jude, where staff dresses up and hands out candy every Halloween.

Sofia as a princess

Sofia loves dressing up like a princess.

Families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing, or food — because all a family should worry about is helping their child live. “It was overwhelming to learn everything would be taken care of,” said Sofia’s mother. “But that meant we could focus on Sofia getting better.”

Sofia is done with treatment and home in Ecuador, where she’s planning on dressing up as a princess and trick-or-treating with her siblings. She visits St. Jude every six months for scans. “St. Jude is always a step ahead,” Sofia’s mom said. “Anything you need, they will provide it. It’s wonderful.” 

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