Two years ago, the Dawson Trail Dispatch introduced readers to two year old Sophia Penner. At the time she was a bubbly toddler facing several years of chemotherapy. Today, she is four years old and a picture of health as she prepares for her final treatment later this month.
Sophia, known as Bia to her family, is the youngest daughter of Jodi and Jordan Penner of Landmark. Two years ago, she was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is a fast-growing cancer of the white blood cells. On May 25, the spunky pre-schooler will receive her final treatment and she is very excited.
“I feel good,” Sophia replied when asked how she feels.
Watching her roughhouse with big sister Alexis, it is hard to believe Sophia was once gravely ill. Jodi recalled some of the child’s struggles during treatment. Milestones like re-learning to walk or simply playing with a toy were significant signs of improvement.
“It was quite an adjustment, she was so sick and it was frightening,” admitted the busy mom. “I also had to learn how to take care of her, even giving her injections. It was difficult but it was saving her life.”
On the home stretch, the family is eagerly looking towards the future.
“For the last two years, we have been on an incredible journey. There have been some crushing lows and some soaring highs,” says Jordan. “We look back on the time since Sophia’s diagnosis and admit that is has been a difficult time in our family’s life, but we also realize how incredibly blessed we are.”
The family has a lot to celebrate. Sophia is doing well and already registered for to start school with her older siblings.
“We realize how lucky we are to live in a country that has the doctors and medical means to fight cancer,” Jordan continued. “As we near the end of Sophia’s chemotherapy treatments, we don’t want to dwell on the tough times but rather celebrate the incredible courage and strength of our little girl.”
As the Penner family end this journey and looks toward the future, they want to thank their families and the many people in the community that attended fundraisers, brought the family meals, babysat, or just offered kind words along the way.
“We are forever grateful,” Penner concluded.
Four year old Sophia Penner is the picture of health and happiness as she cuddles with mom Jodi and big sister Alexis.