Edmonton teen granted wish to ‘pay it forward’ through Make a Wish program

Click to play video 'Teen has wish granted and uses it to help others' Teen has wish granted and uses it to help others
WATCH ABOVE: Make-A-Wish Northern Alberta grants 14-year-old's unique wish to help other cancer patients. Margeaux Maron explains – Dec 21, 2018

Sophia Ferris is feeling great these days. It’s been 18 months since she’s endured chemotherapy and her cancer is in remission.

“When I was diagnosed with Stage 1 Hodgkin’s lymphoma, I was having a pretty rough time just kind of wrapping my head around things,” Ferris said.

“So, when people came and they helped me and they gave me tips to help me get through this hard time, it really made a difference.”

When the 14-year-old was granted a wish from Make a Wish Northern Alberta, she could have picked from endless dream experiences, but instead, she was inspired to give back.

With the help of a couple dozen volunteers, Ferris prepared care packages for newly-diagnosed cancer patients at Edmonton’s Cross Cancer Institute and Stollery Children’s Hospital.

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“We have lotion, because the hospital is dry and dirty, and hand sanitizer,” Ferris explained, while going through one of the bags. “Gum, because when they flush IV lines, they can sometimes get a bad taste in your mouth, and toothpaste and toothbrush in case you need to stay overnight at the hospital.”

Ferris hopes the lessons she’s learned battling the disease will help other patients in her city. She even wrote a book Sophia’s Tips to share those experiences as well as some doses of positivity with people who have found themselves in a similar situation.

“She took that journey that she was on and turned into something that could help other people,” said Leanne Gullekson, with Make a Wish Northern Alberta.

“That’s an amazing gift — that she not only learned from her experiences but she really, really wanted to be able to share those experiences with other people.”

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Ferris and the Make a Wish team plan to distribute the care packages in the New Year.

Make a Wish Northern Alberta granted 116 wishes in 2018, and has 240 sick kids waiting for wishes to be grated in 2019 and beyond.