The Gift Of Sophie

Sophie Steiner, 15, lying in bed on the fifth floor of UNC Children’s Hospital, asked her parents for one last thing. None of them had any idea this one last thing would transform cancer support services for teens and young adults. But her request has done just that.

Sophie had been battling cancer for almost a year and treatment options had run their course. Yet, she was thankful that hundreds of people rallied to support her when she was stuck in the hospital for weeks at a time, thankful for all her friends being close by and ever helpful. When Sophie saw other teens and young adults in the hospital, she noticed most of them had no such support. They received great medical care but it wasn’t the medical staff’s job to relate to teenage patients or to help them deal with a cancer diagnosis while also trying to figure out who they were as people during an incredibly transformative time in their lives.

“I think of Sophie as a matchstick that lit this fire,” said Lauren Lux, the first director of UNC Lineberger’s Adolescent and Young Adult (AYA) Cancer Support Program. “And it’s a very cool thing to be able to fuel those flames.”

Read the complete Carolina Story from UNC Health Care…

This is story number 40 in the Carolina Stories 225th Anniversary Edition magazine.

To support Lineberger’s AYA Support Program and make the match’s flame eternal please consider making a gift here.

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