7-Month-Old Dances Despite Chemo for Langerhans Cell Histiocytosis
April 26, 2017
An adorable baby girl battling a rare childhood disease has touched hearts by dancing to a doctor’s ukulele on a hospital ward.
Seventeen-month-old Sophia Romao Bueno was captured on camera swaying, twisting and stamping her pink-shoed feet to a tune sung by Brazilian doctor Paulo Martins.
The cute tot, who lives with her family in Sao Carlos, has been fighting Langerhans Cell Histiocytosis (LCH), a disorder of the immune system cells, since April last year.
Although the disease is not strictly a cancer, it presents with cancer-like conditions and is treated by chemotherapy.
Sophia sparked a magical moment at the Ribeirao Preto Clinical Hospital in Sao Paulo when Dr Martins brought in the instrument to try and cheer up his patients.
During his singing session, the crooning doc discovered to his delight he had gained a big fan in one of the littlest patients.
Paulo said: “I was going from one room to another and I noticed there was always a little one at the door. She followed me wherever I went and when I left the last room, she was waiting for me in the corridor.
“She looked at me with curiosity and it was clear she wanted me to play a tune for her.
“But when her dad asked me to sing something I was embarrassed because I didn’t know any songs for little children.”
He needn’t have worried.
Sophia’s dad, Julliano, 27, informed the warbling practitioner his daughter liked ‘grown up’ music and her favourite artist was Mar lia Mendon a, a popular country singer in Brazil.
Paulo said “Sophia’s dad suggested a song called I Know the Colour. Fortunately, it was one I knew.”
It proved to be a big hit with the infant.
Paulo continued: “When I sang it for Sophia, she danced and sang along and when the song ended she kept on looking at me for more. So, I played it again and she danced even more.
“I was a magical moment, unique and emotional,” he recalled.
The video, filmed last month, has garnered more than nine million hits with hundreds praising the doctor’s initiative and thousands cooing over the child.
The strumming specialist said: “As Sophia danced, all the problems on the ward just seemed to disappear and everything was tranquil and fine in the infirmary during those special, spellbinding minutes.”
Even the intravenous line supplying Sophia’s medication couldn’t hamper the adorable toddler’s enthusiasm.
The drip, which was attached to her body under her animal print onesie, was held out of the way so she could dance freely.
Sophia’s mum, Mayara, 28, said: “The condition started in the glands in Sophia’s neck. At first, we thought it was just a persistent cold because of the swelling.
“Doctors don’t know what causes LCH but we live day by day with our daughter’s illness and the belief that one day she will be beat it and get back the luscious full head of hair she was born with.
“Sophia is a resilient child with a lot of joy and beauty inside her and her dancing was her way of expressing that inner happiness even as she fights against the disease,” added Mayara.
Paulo said: “Music is a powerful instrument in the recovery of children and adolescents and I often combine it with traditional treatments to encourage positive thinking and hope in my patients.”
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