The Spiritual Side

Sophi's Nana, Lisa Prosser-Dodds, wrote the following:

We know very clearly Sophi has been lifted in prayer by people of all seven of the world’s major religions and MANY who identify as spiritual rather than religious. Friends, relatives and members of our own faith tradition have expressed publicly on FaceBook and other social media platforms the way in which they are lifting Sophi into the light of love. I found out today many more are out there praying and lifting her quietly, and in their own ways. I was talking with a friend today, a casual friend I see two or three times a year, and not a FB friend of mine. As she shared the following with me, I was once again humbled by the strength of our community…

“Lisa, on the day of Sophi’s surgery, I read Tim’s post about praying for the hands of the surgeon and that touched me deeply. I wrote it down and stuck it in my purse. Every time I opened my purse that day I remembered she was in surgery and prayed for her. I was in constant prayer throughout the day. I don’t think I even realized how deeply I was concerned until I read Tim’s post that it was over and the surgery was successful. It was as if I had been holding my breath all day and finally exhaled. Even though I have never met Sophia in person, she has become a part of my life and changed me in many ways. I appreciate God’s gift of modern medicine and the fight she has taken on with such strength, she is sophistrong.”

With tears in my eyes, I expressed my deepest gratitude for her caring. I also appreciated her expression of something I have struggled with. While I understand and accept the expression “Thank God” or “What a miracle!” a part of me cringes. Don’t misunderstand, I believe the amount of prayer and positive energy raised for Sophi was a definite part of her amazing outcomes, but I find myself wanting to express, "don’t forget the struggle she endures in this journey!" It is not a capricious or fickle God who will find it favorable to heal her, but rather it is the combination of medicine, spiritual uplifting, skills of the surgeon, and most importantly Sophi’s indomitable spirit and strength to do anything that is asked of her along the way.

This is not an easy blog to publish, but I hope you can appreciate the spirit of humble love with which it is written.

Another Story

At Memorial Sloan Kettering, the rooms on the Pediatric floor are shared. This was an adjustment for us, but we ended up meeting some amazing parents and kiddos who we could relate to on a very specific level. I do believe that shared rooms are hard for these kids who are going through so much to then have strangers just a curtain away during times of vulnerability. However, they are resilient!

Sophi's roommate was having a very hard time with a procedure that is generally easy and quick, but this time was hard and taking a long time. Her roommate was in pain and scared, it was hard to listen to. We put headphones on Sophi and had her listen to the Disney Pandora station and hoped it would be over soon for everyone involved.

A few days later I was feeling out if she had any lasting questions/effects from listening to a friend in pain and she said, "Mommy, I prayered for her. I didn't know what to do, and I know a lot of people prayered for me, so I thought it was the right thing to do." 

High Points

We have been home for a few days recovering from our trip, and Sophi is recovering from surgery and round 6 of chemo. Zac and I have returned to work, though admittedly our brains are having a hard time adjusting back into work mode. Today I have been reflecting on the experience. Over the next few days I will share a few of the high points that didn't make it in the general overviews that I wrote every day.

Half of the reason we went to NYC is because of her surgeon, Dr. La Quaglia. We've talked about him a lot, he is the best at what he does. Prior to surgery our interaction with him was professional and to the point, he took the time to help us understand and ask questions, but he was very clear that we were walking into a very serious surgery. Sophi had had a long day prior to our meeting with him and wasn't really interested in connecting with anyone, but she did give him a sticker for his white coat. Post surgery I can't say that the interactions got any "lighter," very to the point and logical, BUT he still had that sticker on his coat. Then, the day after her pathology report came back with amazing news, that all changed. Sophi was in a great mood, chatty and willing to interact with this man she had now seen 5-6 times, and he still had her sticker on. He had his Starbucks in hand and spent 5 minutes letting her show him pictures of her before she lost her hair, and he commented on what a beautiful girl she is. She looked straight at him and asked, "Am I still beautiful?" He raised his eyebrows and smiled and said, "look at your eyes! They haven't changed. You are still a very beautiful little girl." She beamed at him and he turned to leave and said, "Sophi, I'll see you at your wedding."

Tshirts for Everyone!

Hello Team Sophi Strong!

We are so excited to launch another tshirt campaign. Sophi was the driver behind these shirts and our amazing friend, Josh Shipley, made them a reality. Check them out, buy one or three, and SHARE!

The proceeds from this campaign will directly support the family while we are in New York for Sophi's surgery and last round of chemo. Both Zac and Bethany will be off work for the whole month of June, so every shirt counts. 

We are offering a brand new design and the original with a twist. Just click on the image to buy. We hope you love them!

Celebrate the Victories

Today is all about celebrating the victories as they come.

This morning, as I was making smoothies (which we would love some of your favorite recipes!) I heard Sophi sing. I haven't heard her sing since before our first chemo round in early February. It did my heart a lot of good to hear that voice that was so prevalent in our house pre-diagnosis.

Also, today marks our first day with a reduction in blood pressure medication! She went from 4 pills a day to 1! Not only is it great to be putting less medicine in her body, the doc tells us that this is a sign that the tumor is shrinking around her vascular system making it easier for her blood to pump normally! This is a huge boost for us, obviously, as we watch her body fight through the chemo to have a sign that it's working.

We want to send a huge shout out to EL for coming over and playing games with Sophi. Today the stars aligned and allowed her to play with someone her age and it was awesome. He wasn't afraid to be close to her and didn't treat her any differently. It was great!

Lastly, thank you to everyone who's gotten a shirt and shared the page! Below is the link to the order page. We've had a few people say they have had issues with ordering and if you find yourself having issues, please tell us and we will work with you to get one of these FABULOUS shirts :)

Thank you for all the love and support! We love you :)

You Did It!

Late Monday night we launched our Sophi Strong T-shirt campaign on Within 24 hours, the fund page had more than 30 shirt orders -- SIX TIMES the minimum number required to get them printed! 

This was a huge moral boost for us and we wanted to thank all of our family, friends and supporters for purchasing and sharing about our Sophi Strong shirts.  In just a few short days, YOU helped raise over $450 for Sophi's medical needs and support. 

The shirt fundraising campaign has exactly one week left for us to raise our goal of selling 100 shirts. Please save the image on this post and post it on your own social media accounts to keep the word going about Sophi and her awesome new shirts! 

Thanks for wearing and sharing the love!

-Team Sophi Strong