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Terminal 11-Year-Old Who Met Drake As Wish Gets Second Chance at Life After Heart Transplant

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When you blow out the candles on your birthday cake, you’re supposed to make a wish — but if you tell anyone that wish, legend says that it won’t come true.

It’s a silly little game that people play, but one young woman approaching her 11th birthday was adamant that the world would know what her birthday wishes were.

Sofia Sanchez, 10 years old at the time, was in a Chicago hospital suffering from heart failure. Her 11th birthday was coming up, and she also knew one of the singers she loved was going to be in town.

She had two wishes, and both of them would require a miracle: First, to get a visit from Drake, and second, to get a new heart.

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Hospital staff and family helped record a video of her participating in the “kiki challenge,” dancing down the hospital hallway to “In My Feelings.” Her message got out and caught Drake’s attention, and he delivered.

Her mom knew Drake would be coming, but kept the visit a surprise. Sofia didn’t know until he walked into her room.

“It felt like a dream,” she said later. “I didn’t know if it was real or not.”

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“I had a tough morning, and then, when he came and surprised me, he made my whole entire day better,” she said, according to Today.

ABC News reported that Drake’s words had a huge impact on his biggest little fan. “He said ‘Stay strong and keep fighting and you will get through this,'” she said. “It helped a lot. I had some tough times, I felt like all my friends were having fun and all that.”

After getting her first wish, she soon got her second. Last month, she was able to ditch the cardiomyopathy heart and get a new one.

She also received a lot of cards and kind words, and used a media conference to express her thanks for everyone’s kindness. “Thank you guys for all the support, I couldn’t go through this without you,” she said.

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Despite the fact that she’s feeling better, doing better, and has started off year 11 with the two things she wanted most in the world, she still knows that there are others out there who need help like she did.

“There’s a lot of kids that are waiting for a transplant. And it’s important for everybody to be a donor,” she said.

“Every day gets better and better,” Sofia’s mother Natalie Sanchez said. “She has a second chance at life, and it’s amazing.”

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Amanda holds an MA in Rhetoric and TESOL from Cal Poly Pomona. After teaching composition and logic for several years, she's strayed into writing full-time and especially enjoys animal-related topics.
As of January 2019, Amanda has written over 1,000 stories for The Western Journal but doesn't really know how. Graduating from California State Polytechnic University with a MA in Rhetoric/Composition and TESOL, she wrote her thesis about metacognitive development and the skill transfer between reading and writing in freshman students.
She has a slew of interests that keep her busy, including trying out new recipes, enjoying nature, discussing ridiculous topics, reading, drawing, people watching, developing curriculum, and writing bios. Sometimes she has red hair, sometimes she has brown hair, sometimes she's had teal hair.
With a book on productive communication strategies in the works, Amanda is also writing and illustrating some children's books with her husband, Edward.
Austin, Texas
Languages Spoken
English und ein bißchen Deutsch
Topics of Expertise
Faith, Animals, Cooking