Uplift Blog

Family of the Month – February 2014


This month, we are going to highlight an amazing young girl, her family and the community that went above and beyond to support them during her health journey.

On August 2, 2013, Sophia V. and her family received her life-altering diagnosis of stage 4 ryhabdomyosarcoma alveolar. “Our world shattered— we knew something was very wrong with our sweet daughter,” said Jodi, Sophia’s mother.

An Incredible Community

For Sophia and her family, their community has had an incredible reaction to the diagnosis, providing nothing but support and care.

“Our community has shown tremendous support right from the get go. So many people have come together,” said Jodi. “To have fundraisers for Ronald McDonald House in Sophia’s honor, a beach bash concert for Sophia and childhood cancer awareness, cut-a-thons, and even a concert at her high school titled Shine for You. This was in addition to the cards, gift cards, wonderful meals continually being made for us, the prayer groups, and then of course the ROAR video.”


At the end of 2013, Sophia’s school in Ontario, Canada, decided to show their unified support by creating an uplifting video (provided below) dedicated to her. Jodi recalls, “The video had been kept a secret which in this day and age is incredible in itself! She went to school one day when they were prepping for it, but they were able to hide it from her.”

It was only later that they saw the video and were stunned. “Sophia first saw the video with her dad while she was receiving outpatient chemo and they were in absolute awe,” said Jodi “The video did more than just lift her spirits –Sophia is an incredible young lady, so strong and courageous, this video helped her soar.”

Profound Gratitude

Jodi reflects, “We are so very fortunate [for our community].  We know that this support enables us to be stronger and better focused on our family and aiding our daughter’s return of health.  We cannot thank everyone enough. I look forward to posting this article as a sign of this profound gratitude.”

Share your Thoughts

Do you find the “ROAR” video as inspiring as we do? We’d love to hear about amazing things your community has done for people during their health journey. Share your thoughts about the video, our Family of the Month and your amazing community in our comments section below.

About the Author:

Laura Ashburn works as a Content Specialist in San Diego. In her free time she enjoys cooking whenever she can and spending time exploring California and all it has to offer.


Comments are closed for this post.

16 Replies

  • By Cheryl Doher

    Yea Vlasman family, chosen as family of the month! So well deserved! The whole family has remained strong and united during the most trying time a family could endure. Keep roaring Sophia, the whole pride here at UCC is 100% behind you!
    Ms. Doher
    Proud teacher of Miss Sophia!

  • By Stacy Srokosz


  • By Wade, Sue and Family

    Awesome Neighbours, and Dear Friends….Family of the Month – Incredible. The Power, Strength, and Courage that all of you, John, Jodi, Sophia, Sammi and Clarky have will overcome this, and all of us will be here right to the very end cheering you on!! Keep smiling Sophia, You Got This!!

  • By JoAnn

    Just wanted you to know that I will pray for you and your family Miss Sophia. May grace, goodness and good health come your way.

  • By Herb, Joan, Meg, John, Caitie

    Well Team Vlasman, congratulations for being chosen “Family of the Month.” You could very well be The Family of a Lifetime; your continual Stength, Hope and Courage have inspired us all. As I’ve said before, Miss Sophia, you truly are a Gift from God. We love you all and continue to pray for your beautiful family.

  • By Laura Ashburn

    I can’t stop watching the video – Sophia and her community are truly inspiring!

  • By Jodie FOSTER

    I am a graduate of Ursuline College, “The Pines” …(1992) I am so proud of what they have Done for Sophia……
    I watch the video often, thinking of your daily!!
    You go GIRL!!

  • By Torie Costa

    Hey Sophia!
    I am 18 years old and am currently in maintenance for Stage 4 Alveolar Rhabdomyosarcoma as well! I was diagnosed in June 2012 and finished treatment at the end of July 2013! I went on caringbridge to check a friend’s site and I saw you highlighted on the page and that you had Rhabdo! I am always looking for girls who are around my age and are fighters/survivors because it is cool to know so many girls that all have such a rare cancer! Please add me on facebook! (I have a pixie hair cut now) and feel free to follow me on Twitter! torie_costa! I would have added you first but I didn’t see your last name in this article! I hope to hear from you soon and I hope all is well with your life and treatment! I like to keep the two separate because you ARE so much more than just the cancer. Keep fighting! XOXO -Torie

  • By Becky Arnold (Twigg)

    The vlasman family are very strong and will have hope, faith and believe forever. I am also keeping the siddal boy Kevin in my heart forever as they have experienced very similar journeys…xoxoxo

  • By Jessica

    I love this! My 7 year old daughter Audrey also has rhabdo. And this video is very inspiring. Praying for you and your family Sophia. Never stop fighting sweetie!

  • By Rosey


  • By michelle Ash

    I had rhabdo eight years ago at the age of 33. I have been cancer free for six years. It is a rough type of cancer but it is beatable. It is such a rare cancer that I have never met anyone with a rhabdo. Prayers are with you and keep fighting.

  • By Joanne Mandel

    Our Leah was diagnosed with Rhabdo just this past week. She is 15 years old and lives in Alabama. She had her first Chemo just last night. We are just beginning our fight but fight we will. Keep strong, keep fighting and I will be praying for you. She has a facebook page called Loving Leah if you might want to post on it.

  • By Alicia Lillie

    Thoughts are with you and your family ! Keep strong ,keep fighting you have a GREAT mother and i am sure father behind you ! Thoughts :)

  • By Laura Ashburn

    Happy (belated) birthday, Sophia!

  • By Sue

    What an absolutely wonderful support team you have! With that much positive energy pouring out to you I know you will just ‘Kick it in the………….can!’ You go girl and never give it up. We’re all behind you! Love and prayers and hope and strength to you Sophia and your family. P.S. Happy belated birthday as well !!!