Love for Sophie. Run for Sophie.
When parents find out their child has cancer, their world changes completely. When Sophie was diagnosed with pleuropulmonary blastoma just before her third birthday, her parents, David and Jenny Spangenthal, knew they were not going to sit by or hide what they were going through. Of course, they sought out the best medical treatment, but they also shared their story and brought a community together. Their blog, Love for Sophie, keeps their friends, family and neighbors in the loop. What they did next, however, is truly extraordinary. They created Team Sophie and ran the Miami Half Marathon with Team Lifeline.
Team Lifeline is an endurance training program that brings runners from all over the world to destination races, raising funds and awareness for Chai Lifeline. Team Lifeline participates in the FitBit Miami Marathon/ Half Marathon, NYC Marathon, and the Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Marathon/ Half Marthon/10K. Each year Team Lifeline raises significant funds for Chai Lifeline’s children.
Chai Lifeline stepped in as soon as Sophie was diagnosed. They helped Jenny and David access the right specialist, provided meals when she was hospitalized and transportation to Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, where their daughter was treated. Volunteers visited Sophie, bringing toys and games to keep her occupied, and even arranged special events just for her, as Sophie was immunosuppressed and could not play with other children. You name it, Chai Lifeline was happy to do it.
David and Jenny wanted to give back to the organization that has been keeping them afloat. They rallied together their friends and family and brought Team Sophie down to Miami for the Half Marathon on January 28th 2018 with Team Lifeline. Team Sophie raised $56,276 for the children of Chai Lifeline.
“Nothing prepared us for how inspirational the entire weekend would be.” Says David, “We knew we’d be surrounded by families and others who’ve been touched by illness, but to see the excitement and joy in everyone’s faces was incredibly moving. The pre-race pasta party was really the highlight of our trip. Sophie being able to go up on stage and wave to the hundreds of people in the room who are supporting her and our family really meant so much to us.”
Sophie is an incredible child who has touched so many people already. Her strength and courage is an inspiration to everyone she meets. Her smile is contagious and her positive attitude is admirable. Sophie is a true Chai Lifeline Warrior, with amazing parents who provide her with encouragement and support every single day.
For more information about Team Lifeline visit www.teamlifeline.org. You can make a difference too. To learn more about how you can be part of the team and inspire your community, email firstname.lastname@example.org