Teacher Photographs 7-Yr-Old’s 1st Day Of School, 9 Months Later Has Mom Bawling With 2nd Photo.

On the first day of school last fall, a first-grade teacher in Kansas City, Missouri, took photos of all of the students in her classroom and hung them up outside. One of those photos shows 7-year-old Sophi Eber holding a sign, stating her name, age, grade and teacher, and that she enjoys singing and wants to be an artist when she grows up.

But what sets Sophi’s photo apart from the rest of those taken that day is her appearance. She has no hair, no eyebrows, and a feeding tube coils around from behind her right ear and into her nostril.


In February of 2016, about midway through kindergarten, Sophi was diagnosed with neuroblastoma. The rare cancer develops from immature nerve cells and is most common in children 5 years of age and younger. After undergoing numerous rounds of chemotherapy and radiation, she had surgery to remove a tumor in her abdomen, then endured additional rounds of immunotherapy.

Thankfully, Sophi was declared cancer-free five months later, but her family remains vigilant; they fly from Kansas City, Missouri, to New York City every few months for scans to ensure the cancer hasn’t returned.


The image her teacher, Emily Herod, captured that day at Renner Elementary School showed Sophi “at her lowest,”Sophi’s mother, Bethany Eber, said. She was still recovering from the rounds of chemotherapy and the surgery to remove the tumor; her weight had dropped to about 33 pounds.

But what a difference a year makes — Sophi is still cancer free, and the photo Herod took on May 25 shows a young girl transformed!

She still has the same wide smile, but this photo shows her 10 pounds heavier, with a full head of hair and full eyebrows curving over her shining eyes (but whose eyes don’t shine on their last day of school?). And perhaps best of all, she’s gotten rid of that feeding tube.


When Herod emailed the picture to Sophi’s parents, they broke down in tears.

“It’s such an incredible picture of who she is and the fact that her smile is the same no matter what she’s going through,”her mother commented. “She loved school and school, for her, represented normalcy.â€

Bethany and her husband, Zac, posted the photo on the Sophie Strong Facebook page, as well as Reddit — where it has gone viral, serving as a source of inspiration and hope for other parents whose children are battling childhood cancer.

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