A 7-year-old girl from Idaho is hoping to get cards from every state in the U.S. to mark her 1,000th day of chemotherapy as she battles cancer.
According to reports, little Zoe Ray has been fighting the horrible disease for three years, but isn’t letting that get her down. Rather, she wants to celebrate her resilience by involving strangers from all across the country.
Speaking to Good Morning America, Zoe said: “They say they’re thinking of me and they share stories of encouragement. It makes me really excited and happy and it gets me distracted opening the cards all day.”
The Eagle, Idaho resident, who is set to enter the second grade, was just five years old when she tripped and hit her head at a local park. During the process of assessing her injuries, doctors found a pingpong ball-sized tumor in Zoe’s head.
She was soon diagnosed with optic nerve glioma, a rare and slow-growing brain cancer that is found near the nerve connecting the eye to the brain.
Given the location of the tumor, surgery is off the table. Zoe began chemotherapy treatment back in 2017 in an attempt to shrink the size of the tumor, and has since undergone three different types of chemo.
The 7-year-old’s doctor, Eugenia Chang, explained: “Each of the chemotherapies is different, but all of them will decrease her energy, decrease her appetite and that in turn will cause some intermittent headaches and just kind of feeling blah or under the weather.
“It’s like having a low-grade flu all of the time.”
As per reports, it’s likely this brave little girl will continue receiving chemotherapy throughout her childhood. Not only that, but her weakened immune system leaves her vulnerable during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
With that in mind, her 1,000th day milestone really is something to be celebrated. So far, Zoe has received nearly 500 cards from more than two dozen states.
“I want to get cards from all 50 states and I want to get 1,000 cards by my 1,000th day of chemotherapy,” she said.
Her mom said: “She says when she’s distracted by reading the cards her head doesn’t hurt and her stomach doesn’t hurt. She’ll stand by the door waiting for the mail and just shake with excitement.”
Chang, meanwhile, added: “I don’t think people realize how much of a difference they can make in other people’s lives.
“People think of cancer as something that either kills you or you treat it and it’s done and sometimes it’s harder to have these kinds that are there and need to be treated on and off for years.”
I don’t know about you, but I think Zoe is an extremely brave girl, and I hope she gets as many cards as possible so that she knows she has a lot of supporters during this fight.
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