Kimi Schroder Kimi is an amazing 10-year old girl who has been bravely battling cancer for nearly 7 years. Through it all, she has maintained an incredibly positive and joyful attitude. She is truly an inspiration to all who are fortunate to enter her life. In September 2010, at only 4 years old, Kimi was diagnosed with high-risk Stage 4 Neuroblastoma. This is an aggressive pediatric cancer of the peripheral nervous system. Initially she was given only a 50 percent chance of surviving this disease. Obviously, they did not realize who they were dealing with! For the next 18 months she endured an intensive treatment regimen that included multiple rounds of high-dose chemotherapy, a major tumor resection surgery, a stem cell transplant, radiation, and immunotherapy. All of her suffering and hard work paid of. She achieved remission in December 2012. Kimi enjoyed a new life off treatment. She started Kindergarten and began to resume the life of a normal child. However, her cancer had other plans. After two-and-a-half wonderful years of remission, the Neuroblastoma once again reared its ugly head. Kimi relapsed in May of 2014. This was a shock to us all and extremely upsetting, as we knew that Kimi would have to once again endure some very difficult treatments. But, in typical Kimi fashion, she did not get upset or feel sorry for herself. She merely said, “Daddy, I beat it once, I can do it again. Let’s go…” And she did beat it again., to no one’s surprise. However, Neuroblastoma is a nasty and sneaky form of cancer. Kimi relapsed again for the second time in June of 2015. She is currently still in active treatment as she bravely battles to achieve remission one more time. As always, there is no doubt that she will once again conquer this horrible disease. Obviously, cancer is a big part of our lives in so many ways. However, at no time does Kimi ever let her cancer in any way define who she is or what she will be able to accomplish. Kimi and her personality and spirit are bigger and stronger than any cancer. Throughout this entire journey - through all the extended hospital stays, the nausea, the pain, the hair loss, and most importantly, the loss of a significant part of her childhood - she never complained. She embraced her battle with a smile, bravery, and positive attitude that is well beyond her years. Her strength and courage continue to inspire me each and every day. There is a saying…”If you have ever seen a child fighting cancer, it will change your life forever.” I know this is true in Kimi’s case. Despite all her ongoing treatments and the collateral damage, Kimi continues to live her life with love and joy. Despite all the setbacks, she continues to excel in school. This year she was even elected President of the Student Council. She relishes in just being a kid. She loves to sing and dance. She takes guitar lessons and ballet classes. Her goal is to dance in The Nutcracker next Christmas. She is a total adrenaline junkie - she loves roller coasters, rock climbing, and zip lines. One day she wants to go skydiving and bungee jumping. She loves to swim and going to the beach. She could spend hours riding her boogie board - the bigger the waves, the better. The most beautiful thing about Kimi is her never-ending desire to spread joy and laughter to others. She is always trying to cheer up the other kids at the hospital. She recently undertook a band-aid drive, all on her own, so that the other kids would always have cool band-aids. When we are inpatient, despite her multiple negative side effects, her room is often filled with laughter and singing. Many nurses and visitors stop by “Kimi’s Salon” to get their nails painted. Her nurses and doctors are also expected to join her in a round of karaoke. She is always working on various crafts, which she gives away to others when finished. Recently, with the amazing support and generosity of Here With Hope, Kimi conducted her own camp - Kimi’s Camp - because she wanted to help other cancer kids and to “give back.” Her story will continue as she moves on through her journey. She has high ambitions and many lofty goals she wants to achieve. Cancer will be but one obstacle that she overcomes. Her spirit, joy, and love of life have proven that she has already beaten cancer.