The Box Houston Featured Video
Cancer Symbol in a Research Laboratory

Source: mark wragg / Getty

Sophia Petika, 12-years old, was at the Willis-Knighton Cancer Center in Shreveport for her last day of proton therapy.
The proton therapy or proton beam therapy is a type of particle therapy that uses a beam of protons to irradiate diseased tissue for treatment of cancer.
Sophia was receiving this treatment for her tumors on her spine. Sophia had been diagnosed with scoliosis when she was a small child and she wore a brace when her pain became unbearable. In 2013, a MRI showed that she had tumors on her spinal cord. These were surgical removed at St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, but last year, tests shows that more tumors had grown on her spinal cord.
The proton therapy was done in place of the traditional X-ray tradition.

On Sophia’s last day, the team at the hospital decided to surprise her with a flash mob of the “Nae Nae” dance.
Her mom, Julia Petikas said, “She was just overwhelmed and really surprised, and it was overwhelming for me and my husband. We’re happy that they did it for her and it’s making so many other people feel good.”
“It ended up being a huge blessing to be able to go to Willis-Knighton instead of Memphis because we live in Shreveport and our family could all be together for her. She touched the hearts of so many people at the hospital, and they fell in love with her. While she wasn’t sad for her treatment to be finished, she was sad not to be going up there anymore to see everybody,” her mom said.
Her mom goes on to say, “(Sophia) loves that song, and she has a real bubbly, magnetic personality. She’s excited, but she thinks the spotlight should be on Daniel and the crew there. They are the ones that did something special for her.”
The other good news, is that Sophia started her first day of seventh grade.

More From TheBoxHouston