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Young cancer survivor gives back

By Jim Conrad, jconrad@wcyb.com
Published On: Mar 15 2013 03:55:45 PM CDT
Updated On: Mar 14 2013 11:00:00 PM CDT

What can a kindergarten student do to help Saint Jude's Hospital? Give back what the hospital gave to her and her family.

Pound, Va. -

It seems that every school is raising money for something all the time. It may be a trip or new equipment, or sometimes a worthy cause like Saint Jude's Hospital.

Treating children with cancer may seem foreign to some of us, but for one family at one Wise County elementary school it meant the world for their little girl.

The students at Wise County's J.W. Adams Combined School recently had a mathathon fundraiser for Saint Jude's. That means the kids had do math and it's hard enough to get them to do that.

But one kindergarten student was more than willing to step up, Sophie Fleming. She's a cancer survivor and was helped by Saint Jude's. "We found a place on her back when she was born and after tests it concluded that she did have Nero Plastoma. It's a solid tumor and it was above her adrenal gland but it was wrapped around her heart," her mother Myranda Fleming said.

It was a cancerous tumor, and she began chemotherapy at five months old at Johnson City Medical Center with the help of Saint Jude's. "Knowing what I know and what they for me, I want her to grow up knowing what Saint Jude's did for her, and knowing what Johnson City Medical Center and the Ronald McDonald house did for her and us," Sophie's mother said.

So she and her family began raising money through the mathathon, just how much did they raise? "$1,746," Sophie proudly announced.

So for raising so much money she was entitled to prizes. "I don't want to get a prize. I want to give both them away, I don't need a prize," Sophie said.

Take a look through the school and they're raising even more money for Saint Jude's. "We have several students that have enjoyed the services that Saint Jude's provides for several years. Over the past five or six years our school has raised over $30,000 for Saint Jude's," Principal Steve Bonney said.

But the payback really hits home for the Fleming family. "She goes back every year now and December 24 made her five years remission so she is considered cured in the eyes of Saint Jude's," Sophie's mom says.

And the willingness to help others like herself shines in the eyes of one giving kindergartener.