During her freshman year of high school, in November 2012, 14-year-old Sophie Steiner, left, went to the doctor because she'd been having abdominal pain. Tests found tumors in her stomach and liver -- and six rounds of chemotherapy couldn't make them go away. She died at age 15 in August of 2013.
While she was in the hospital, Sophie befriended nurses, doctors and patients. She believed so much in staying true to her authentic self, in not letting the cancer define her, that she wanted to help other young adults diagnosed with cancer stay strong too. Her family established the Be Loud! Sophie Foundationfor this purpose.
The foundation helps hospitals provide extra medicine for adolescents facing cancer, like complementary therapies such as yoga and massage, or ways to make the room away from home their own. Sophie worked to make these things happen for herself while she was going through treatment, and she wished that other families with fewer resources could help their kids have these comforts -- and a sense of normalcy -- too.
We think this girl from Chapel Hill, NC sounds extraordinary. if you're inspired to support her mission, check out Be Loud! Sophie. We'll leave you with some words that she wrote in a poem on her blog (Raindrops Cameras and Dance shoes -- every post is so worth a read) when she was 13 years old, just before she was diagnosed with cancer:
…Be loud And move with grace Explode with light Have no fear…