By CRISTINA JANNEY
Not all wishes come true. Sometimes we have to change them a little bit.
Make A Wish couldn't grant Sophia Linenberger, a junior at Thomas More Prep-Marian, her original wish but managed to come through to fulfill another dream.
Sophia, 17, received a 2021 Coleman Lantern camper through the Make A Wish program from Camper World in Kansas City, Kan.
Sophia 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.
Her mother, Jenny, said because Sophia had already received radiation, her treatments had to be doubled. She had 30 doses of radiation in 15 days. She received her camper two days after completing her radiation treatments.
She is currently undergoing chemotherapy.
"The last few weeks, it's been pretty rough," Jenny said of Sophia's treatment.
Jenny added, "She has been a good sport about it. She does everything with a smile. She is a very strong kid, but it has been tough. It's just hard."
Sophia's initial wish was to travel with her family to Disney World, spend a night in Cinderella Castle, visit Universal Studios, visit the beach and swim with dolphins at Dolphins Cove in Orlando.
However, Make A Wish has suspended travel due to the coronavirus pandemic.
After some research, Sophia decided to change her wish to a camper, so she and her family could go on trips together.
"I thought a camper would be an amazing thing to have because I can travel with my family and not have to worry about the virus right now," Sophia said. "We can even park it outside of our house, and we can do little campouts outside."
The family received the camper earlier this month and has already had a two-night campout at their home.
Dick Werth at Auto World in Hays lent the family a truck to pick up the camper and pull it home.
As the weather gets warmer, the family — Sophia, her sister, Holly, and Mom and Dad — hope to go on trips to Cedar Bluff and Wilson.
Make A Wish also surprised Sophia with 24 paid camping passes.
Sophia said it means a lot to here to be able to spend this time with her family, adding she is grateful to Make A Wish for granting her wish.
"I am just really excited because I know camping is going to be so much fun, especially when it gets warmer out. Even now — we have a fireplace in it.
"I am just really excited that we can spend a lot of time together. Especially with the virus and what I've been through with my journey, [I] don't take anything for granted. I'm really excited to be in the camper with my family."