After hard-fought battle, many prayers 2 1/2-year-old girl with - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

After hard-fought battle, many prayers 2 1/2-year-old girl with Nacogdoches ties now cancer free

Sophie has been in the hospital since May.  Family members are always by her side. (Source: KTRE Staff) Sophie has been in the hospital since May. Family members are always by her side. (Source: KTRE Staff)
Sophie Skiles, 2 1/2, is disease free and is now preparing for steps to rebuild her immune system. (Source: KTRE Staff) Sophie Skiles, 2 1/2, is disease free and is now preparing for steps to rebuild her immune system. (Source: KTRE Staff)
Sophie's aunt, Jacy Watson, demonstrates how bone marrow swabs are collected for the registry. (Source: KTRE Staff) Sophie's aunt, Jacy Watson, demonstrates how bone marrow swabs are collected for the registry. (Source: KTRE Staff)
NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) -

After five months of fighting an aggressive form of cancer, two-and-a-half-year-old Sophie Skiles' family is saying she's cancer free. 

Preparations are underway now to strengthen the child's immune system.

The parents live in Tyler, but they have strong ties to Nacogdoches, where a bone marrow drive was conducted today in Sophie's honor.

A great-grandfather received a bone marrow registration drive T-shirt. The little girl's life he wants saved is great-granddaughter, Sophie Skiles. 

"Lymphoma is something that can spread really fast, really quick, but it also can be cured,” said Jacy Watson, Sophie’s aunt.

The child's aunt returned to her hometown of Nacogdoches to provide news of answered prayers.

“She had a pet scan and a bone marrow aspiration yesterday and the preliminary results show that she has little to no disease, which is what we were hoping for after her really high doses of chemo,” Watson said.

The next step is typically a bone marrow transplant to rebuild the immune system. Accolade Hospice in Nacogdoches is increasing chances of matches for all blood cancer fighters through its donor registration drive. 

"Actually, 75 percent of those matches end up in a platelet or stem cell transfusion,” said Jacki Ramirez, an Accolade Hospice sales executive.

Such is Sophie’s case. She'll receive a less invasive stem cell transplant through umbilical cord blood. Her odds are good should she ever need a bone marrow transplant. 

"She had 1,400 possible matches, which is absolutely insane,” Watson said
 
"We have had a storm of prayers going up from all over the world …" said Dottie and Johnnie Johnson, Sophie’s great-grandparents.

"Worldwide,” Johnnie said.

“For this report to be good,” Dottie said.

Faith and science will continue to work for Sophie. The cord blood transplant will require 100 days of isolation.

Anyone between the ages of 18 and 55 can take a 30 second mouth swab to be entered into a bone marrow registry. Click here for a link on how to register. For a link to keep up with Sophie’s progress, click here.

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