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Sophia the Fierce

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Sophia’s Story: Last July, Sophia Benintende, a healthy and energetic 7-year-old was about to start 3rd grade at Country Parkway in Williamsville, when she began to feel a pain in her side. Her mom and dad felt a lump on her rib cage where they believed she pulled a muscle trying to master the monkey bars. Sophia saw her pediatrician, who sent her for a sonogram of the area the following day, which led to a CT, which shockingly revealed tumors on her rib cage and lungs.

In a whirlwind few days, Sophia was diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma, a very rare and aggressive cancer. She immediately began a rigorous treatment plan which included 14 rounds of chemo at Roswell and 31 rounds of radiation at Sloan Kettering Memorial in NYC. During this time Sophia had more ER trips than can be counted including transfusions, fevers, and the list goes on. But in spring of 2022, Sophia was cancer free.

To be safe, she continued daily trips to Roswell for maintenance chemo throughout this summer as well as an additional home administrators chemo. She was so excited to finish at the end of August 2022.

Heartbreakingly, the week of what was to be her last treatment, her scans showed that she relapsed as new tumors in her lung and surrounding her heart were discovered. With limited treatment options remaining, Sophia immediately began a trial out of Cleveland Clinic. This trial was not working as hoped, and they quickly shifted to another trial treatment.

This past weekend (11/4/22) Sophia was sent to the ER for shortness of breath. She had 1400mls of fluid drained. And today, Monday (11/7/22) when more fluid was discovered, they were unexpectedly sent to Cleveland for intervention and next steps as she faces this significant battle.

Her dedicated parents, Kristina and Rick Benintende, own a small business (Marco’s Deli on Maple) and have been unable to be present at work much of the year, causing financial strain. As you can imagine, their medical and personal bills are overwhelming as they focus on their baby girl’s health.

While the family has recently raised thousands of dollars to support local cancer organizations - as they thought they were done with their battle - now, they are the ones who could use your help.

There is a list a mile long of things that we cannot change for them. Providing immediate financial support is one way in which we can show our love and support.


  • Anonymous
    • $100 
    • 1 yr
  • Susannah Ryan
    • $50 
    • 1 yr
  • John E Spampinato
    • $200 
    • 1 yr
  • Anonymous
    • $25 
    • 1 yr
  • Ryan Colombo
    • $25 
    • 1 yr

Organizer and beneficiary

Jillmarie Giardina
Buffalo, NY
Richard Benintende

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