SoSo Strong Gala supports both families and research in the fight against pediatric brain tumors
“We just do the things we can do. We’re small but mighty.”
BILOXI, Miss. (WLOX) - Angel Myers McIlrath is the president of the SoSo Strong Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation. The organization’s goal is to help find a cure for pediatric brain tumors.
The cause is close to Angel’s heart after losing her seven-year-old daughter, Sophia Ann Myers, to cancer in 2017. She describes her daughter as a pure hearted child who enjoyed fishing in her princess dress.
“She was the kindest and most compassionate child you would ever. I know all parents say that, but I mean that. I’m for real. She was great. She loved to sing, dance, do gymnastics, and was precious.”
Angel says the foundation was created to help families who have a child with cancer. They assist with both financial and emotional support.
Brydon and Amy Terrell also lost their daughter, Gentry, to cancer. The Terrells remember Gentry handing out “happies” or goodies like unicorns, games and baby dolls. Her family is keeping the tradition alive to give other families a support boost.
“A rainbow, unicorn or anything that reminds us of Gentry,” said Amy Terrell. ”We pick that up to give to people who look like they are having a bad day or just need a little pick me up.”
Saturday night’s gala provided a space to not only raise awareness about the disease, but to also provide a support system to others who have either lost a child to cancer or who are dealing with it right now.
“This allows an opportunity for all those Facebook and social media connections you make, to put faces to names, and hugs and tears to the real people that have become your family that you didn’t know you needed,” said Terrell.
“I couldn’t tell you right now who all did things for us in the community, but they haven’t stopped,” said McIlrath. “They keep showing up and fighting with us and we couldn’t do it without all of us.”
Because of that support, Angel says she was able to turn her grief into a mission to help others while keeping her daughter’s memory alive.
“This helps me feel connected to her, helps me to feel that other people still remember her and still care,” said McIlrath. “And it’s hope that we can still make a difference in somebody else’s life.”
To learn more about the mission of the SoSo Strong Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation, visit https://www.sosostrongpbtf.org
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