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Our Reasons to Run: Sofia

Sofia’s story, as told by her mom, Marta:

"Sofia Blanco was diagnosed with an extremely aggressive form of Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma (Anaplastic Large Cell) in December 2003 when she was four years old. Her unusual presentation made it difficult to diagnose but the doctors were able to act before it was too late. Fortunately, her body responded very well to the chemotherapy and her prognosis was good. She finished her treatment in December 2004 and had been in remission since.

However, eight months into treatment Sofia had what we initially thought was viral-induced heart failure. As with the cancer, Sofia responded well to treatment. She was followed-up by a cardiologist for years after without incident until the summer of 2011. It was then that her heart function began to decrease. And a few days after celebrating her thirteenth birthday in March 2012, Sofia was hospitalized with the thought that she’d improve as she had years before with medications. However, it was not to be. The heart failure was caused by one of the chemotherapy drugs that ironically saved her life and this damage was irreversible. She was placed on a heart/lung machine and had heart pumps installed all in hopes of getting her organs to regain normal function so that she could qualify for a heart transplant. Unfortunately, Sofia passed away on April 3, 2012.

As always Sofia showed tremendous strength and courage throughout this entire period, as well as incredible understanding and acceptance. She was a smart, curious, easy going, independent young lady that had a tremendous sense of humor. She was a great sister, a tremendous friend and wonderful daughter. She taught us that every day is special and should be lived to the fullest…she is our inspiration and our hero!!!!!!!!!!!!!

In her honor Sofia's mom started Sofia's Hope, Inc., a non-profit organization dedicated to helping kids with cancer and their families. For more information please go to





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