She wants to become a teacher and plans on majoring in early childhood education at college. To that end, she has served as a student aide for a kindergarten class and has volunteered in the pre-K room at her church for many years. Kids love her!
Not too long ago, a lump was found behind her knee. Her family took her into Valley Children's Hospital, hoping it was a cyst and it could be easily removed. Unfortunately, after multiple tests, Sam was diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma.
Rhabdomyosarcoma is a cancer that forms in soft tissue, usually in the muscles that are attached to bones. It is rare, with approximately 250 new cases diagnosed in the United States each year. Tumors have been found in her muscles, lymph nodes and lungs.
Sam has had biopsies of her lungs and her bones. She has already started chemotherapy, which is expected to last a minimum of a year. She has been in and out of the hospital due to effects from cancer and from chemo. She was told that she will have to miss her entire senior year of high school. The hope is that Sam will eventually undergo radiation and surgeries.
Sam is not only a great student, she is an amazing big sister as well! She has two younger siblings (a 14-year-old sister and a 2-year-old brother). They both miss having their sister at home. Sam's mother has had to go on leave from her job, due to the frequent hospitalizations and uncertain treatment schedule; round-trip travel between the family home and the hospital is two hours. Her father has had to take multiple days off of work. All funds raised will go towards helping the family with medical bills and travel expenses (gas, food, etc.).
Like her family, Sam has a huge heart and does so much good for other people. Now, we are hoping to do something good for her.
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