7-Year-Old Cancer Survivor Shares First And Last Day School Photos To Show How Far She's Come

"What a difference a school year makes."

Most parents love seeing their child's school photo at the beginning and end of a school year. Comparing the pictures often shows growth and development, and is always good for the memory banks. For the parents of first-grader Sophi Eber, however, their daughter's first and last day school photos were especially meaningful because their 7-year-old had been battling cancer. 

In February 2016, Sophi was diagnosed with stage IV neuroblastoma, a rare form of cancer that typically affects kids, causing cancerous cells to form in nerve tissues of the spinal cord, adrenal gland, neck, or chest. 

Sophi's parents documented her journey on the Sophi Strong Facebook Page as she went through multiple rounds of chemo, radiation, and a nine hour surgery.


In July 2016, Sophi was declared cancer-free.

When Sophi started school, she was still recovering from her chemo treatments. She did not have much hair and had a feeding tube through her nose.

Fast-forward to the end of the year, and Sophi was doing world's better. Her teachers took a photo just to show how far she had come, and her family posted the photo on their daughter's Facebook support page, and on Reddit to highlight her strength and determination.

"Here's your feel good picture of the day! We received this from Sophi's teachers this afternoon: 'What a difference a school year makes! This picture shows how much your girl has gone through and she continues to just blow us away…her strength, determination, and amazing attitude inspires us! So grateful to have had the opportunity to know her and be her teachers!' "

In both photos, Sophi's smile remains the same, but the other physical changes are apparent: her hair has grown back and she no longer has the feeding tube. 

The photos of Sophi have gone viral thanks to their positive message about overcoming obstacles, and her mom, Bethany Eber, told HuffPost about her decision to share the photos online.

"We wanted to show that it happens, that it’s not just sad, but that kids can overcome this and they can become stronger," she said.

Eber added, "[The photo series] was really meant to be hopeful and that was how it was received."

Even though Sophi's chemo is completed, the 7-year-old is still in treatment. Because the chance of the cancer coming back is high, Sophi still has to have scans every three months. She is also currently testing a vaccine.


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