Cancer is one of the most devastating challenges, especially when it afflicts children.
Jonathan and Shelby initially believed their two-year-old daughter, Sophie, was grappling with allergies. Breathing difficulties led her doctor to suspect asthma. Unfortunately, the truth was far more ominous.
Scheduled for an allergy test a few days later, Sophie never made it to that appointment. One fateful night, she suddenly stopped breathing.
For any parent, this is a nightmare scenario. Jonathan and Shelby urgently called an ambulance, racing to the hospital where, at that critical moment, doctors revealed a graver diagnosis than asthma or allergies. Sophie had developed T-cell lymphoma—a form of cancer.
Months have passed since then, with Sophie undergoing rigorous chemotherapy. Despite her brave fight, the cancer persisted, affecting her ability to talk, walk, and use her hands for basic tasks. Her small body now prepares for a stem cell operation.
Shelby remains a constant presence by her daughter’s side, often neglecting her own well-being in her relentless pursuit to see Sophie recover.
To keep friends and family updated on Sophie’s journey, Jonathan and Shelby established a Facebook page called “Sophie The Brave.” The page has garnered over 12,000 followers, extending beyond family circles.
Among the heartfelt posts, one stands out, resonating especially with mothers of ill children who can likely relate to Shelby’s poignant words.
“I see you. I sit on this couch all day long and, I see you. You try so hard to be unnoticed by me and my child. I see your face drop a little when she sees you and cries. You try so many ways to ease her fears and win her over. I see you hesitate to stick her or pull bandaids off. You say ‘No owies’ and ‘I’m sorry’ more times in one day than most people say ‘thank you’..”
“I see all of those rubber bracelets on your arms and wrapped around your stethoscope, each one for a child that you’ve cared for and loved. I see you stroke her little bald head and tuck her covers around her tightly. I see you holding the crying mom that got bad news.I see you trying to chart on the computer while holding the baby whose mom can’t-or won’t be at the hospital with her.”
“You put aside what’s happening in your life for 12 hours straight to care for very sick and something’s dying children. You go into each room with a smile no matter what’s happening in there. You see Sophie’s name on the schedule and come to check on us even when she isn’t your patient. You call the doctor, blood bank, and pharmacy as many times as necessary to get my child what she needs in a timely manner. You check on me as often as you check on her. You sit and listen to me ramble for 10 minutes even though your phone is buzzing and your to do list is a mile long.
“I see you. We all see you. No amount of snack baskets or cards can fully express how appreciated you are. You are Jesus to us every single day. Our children wouldn’t get what they need without you. Moms like me wouldn’t feel sane or heard without you. You save our babies and we couldn’t do this without you.”
Shelby’s post received an impressive 26,000 likes, and it’s evident why. The incredible individuals at the hospital, including the dedicated nurses, truly deserve appreciation and recognition for their outstanding efforts.
As we collectively hope and pray for Sophie’s swift recovery, the family received uplifting news: Sophie’s battle with cancer has nearly come to an end!
Let’s spread Shelby’s heartfelt words about the nursery and hospital staff so that more people can learn about the exceptional work they contribute.