By CRISTINA JANNEY
Sophia Linenberger might not have been able to watch her beloved Chiefs play in Super Bowl LV in person on Sunday, but she was there in spirit.
For the second Super Bowl in a row, Chiefs' quarterback Patrick Mahomes wore Linenberger's yellow "Sophia Strong" wristband during the game.
Sophia's mother, Jenny, bought decorations for the family's Super Bowl watch party, including a cutout out of Mahomes that depicted him wearing Sophia's wristband.
Hays' Northwestern Printers also donated a stadium cardboard cutout depicting Linenberger, which Mahomes' mother, Randi Mahomes, and his younger sister, Mia, took to Miami for the game.
Jenny said it was Sophia's idea to send the cutout to Randi, so she could take it to Miami.
"I have seen a lot of smiles and a lot of joy," Jenny said. "We are so grateful of him and Randi for being supportive of Sophia. ....
"She is so nice and down-to-earth," Jenny said of Randi. "I am sure that is were Mahomes gets it from."
Sophia, 17, a junior at Thomas More Prep-Marian, was diagnosed in January 2019 with a rare cancer, Ewing's sarcoma. She spent much of 2019 going back and forth to Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City for treatment, including two surgeries to her spine.
Sophia was told she was in remission for her cancer, but the cancer appeared again in August 2020. She recently completed a round of chemo in Kansas City.
Sophia was able to meet Patrick Mahomes in November 2019. She was asked to represent Children's Mercy Hospital at Mahomes' charity gala, 15 and the Mahomies.
Sophia accepted a $15,000 donation for Children's Mercy from Mahomes' foundation. She also received an autographed Mahomes helmet from the Children's Mercy CEO.
Jenny said Sophia and the family were disappointed at the Chiefs' loss, but said they are sure they will come back stronger next year.