Ocean Springs 7-year-old battles rare brain cancer

By Trang Pham-Bui - bio | email

OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - "She loves to dance and she loves to travel with her daddy too. They love Disney," said Nonie Mohler, as she described her granddaughter Sophia Mohler.

"No one could know her and not love her," said her grandfather Bob. "She's one of a kind"

Seven-year-old Sophia Mohler is a vivacious, sweet, and loving little girl. She is also a very sick little girl.

"It's just a shock to all of us. We had no idea, until the MRI," Nonie said.

That was in August, when Sophia complained of having severe headaches and her eyes started to cross.

"But we thought the glasses would correct that. Of course, when they took the MRI, they said it was a tumor. It was a very rare tumor," Nonie said.

That tumor was found at the base of Sophia's brain. Her parents, David and Theresa Mohler, immediately shut down their famous Tato Nut shop in downtown Ocean Springs and took their daughter to Texas for treatment.  She has finished radiation and is now undergoing chemotherapy.

"She's lost her hair.  She takes it in stride.  Everything that happens, she takes it very well. Very strong little girl," Nonie said.

The ordeal has been tough on the whole family. That's why Nonie Mohler always carries a tiny prayer cloth, as do other family members and friends. The Mohlers believe strongly in the power of prayer.

"I pray for that tumor to go away and stay gone," Nonie said. "We're looking for that miracle.  We're all praying for her and we have the whole town praying for her."

You will see that outpouring of community support this Saturday, when thousands of people are expected to turn out at the Ocean Springs-Biloxi Bridge for a Benefit Walk.  Money raised from the event will help the Mohler family pay for medical costs not covered by insurance and related expenses.

Bob and Nonie Mohler and other family members plan to be there bright and early.  They'll walk, cheer on the participants, but most of all, thank all the people who've shown the family so much love and kindness.

"That's Sophia's bracelet," Bob Mohler said, pointing to a red rubber bracelet on his wrist. "There's a bunch of them all over town I guess."

"We want her to know we're with her all the time and thinking of her and pulling for her," Nonie said. "If Ocean Springs has that much faith and trust and they feel it, it is helping them get through it."

The benefit walk is this Saturday, October 17th from 7am until noon. Tents will be set up at the foot of both sides of the Ocean Springs/Biloxi Bridge.  You don't have to walk in order to participate.  All donations will go to the Sophia Mohler Medical Benefit Account.

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