September is National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Join us today, September 20, 2009 as CURE Childhood Cancer honors CURE Kid Sophia Langford. Join our fight as CURE’s Kids Conquer Cancer One Day at a Time! Donate to Sophia’s Fund.
Sophia Langford’s Story:
Cancer. Never has a word been so hated by our family. It is a cruel disease that robs children of their innocence. In far too many cases, children lose their lives it.
Our sweet daughter, Sophia, was two-years-old when she began to get morning headaches. The morning headaches, vomiting, and loss of balance turned out to be the side effects of a very aggressive brain cancer: anaplastic medulloblastoma. It grew fast. We still have nightmares of her screaming in pain when the pressure in her head suddenly grew before her first brain surgery.
Due to the aggressiveness of her type of cancer, they started her on the toughest protocol she could handle. After recovering from her first brain surgery, she went through high dose chemotherapy, an additional exploratory brain surgery, and a triple tandem stem cell transplant. We practically lived in the hospital for six months. It hurt to see her suffering from the side effects of the treatments. She cried when her hair fell out. She felt terrified when she first got her vascular catheter implanted in her chest. The vomiting upset her. She ended up with a g tube in her stomach because she quit eating. She gave up drinking anything but water because she began to aspirate liquids. Despite the many difficult days and the occasional bout of sadness, her bright spirit never disappeared. She was known for telling the nurses to “please be careful” and “thank you.” We giggled on the days in the hospital when she would get up and dance. Sophia loved going to the playroom to pretend to cook and to do art projects. We lived for those happy moments when she would sing and laugh.
After she finished the first protocol, we enjoyed three happy treatment-free months. We lived our lives to the fullest, hoping that the chemotherapy had permanently destroyed the cancer. Then one day, Sophia suddenly started stumbling again. We were devastated to learn that the cancer had returned. Sophia went through two more brain surgeries, radiation therapy, and outpatient chemotherapy. Unfortunately, her cancer refused to be tamed by these treatments.
In October of 2008, the difficult decision was made to place Sophia into home hospice care. She was tired and scared of the needle pokes and hospital visits. She felt safe at home. We did our best to keep her out of pain as we filled up her days with as many wonderful activities as possible. She never gave up on life, even after she lost her hearing. As the cancer grew, her face became paralyzed and she could no longer smile or open her eyes. She refused to give up, using her finger to open her eyelid so she could watch her videos and color. You could not help but to be inspired by her passion for life until the very end. After a 20-month fight with cancer, she passed away on February 3, 2009, in the arms of her mommy and daddy. She was only four-years-old.
Shirley Langford, Sophia’s Mom
About September & CURE’S Kids Conquer Cancer One Day at a Time:
September is recognized as National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. This September, CURE Childhood Cancer has committed to raising awareness and raising money to help find a cure for childhood cancer in our lifetime and put an end to this terrible disease through a special program CURE’s Kids Conquer Cancer One Day at a Time!
Please help us in our goal of raising $30,000 in the month of September while honoring special CURE kids each day of the month who have been affected by childhood cancer.
For more information, please click here.
About CURE Childhood Cancer:
Founded in 1975, CURE Childhood Cancer is dedicated to conquering childhood cancer through research, education and support of patients and their families. Since its establishment as a grass-roots organization, CURE has focused its efforts on improving the care, quality of life, and survival rate of children with cancer.
The founders, parents and a dedicated pediatric oncologist, joined forces to support laboratory research that would translate into immediate care for children with cancer.
Since that time, CURE has raised millions of dollars to fund cutting edge research at the Aflac Cancer Center Blood Disorders Service at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and Emory University School of Medicine.
Through innovative programming, CURE also provides support for stricken families, providing them comfort and support during their time of devastating need.
Donate to Sophia’s Fund