8-year-old celebrates being cancer free on her birthday and donates gifts to her friends still fighting in hospital
Kids are born innocent. They also seem to be born with a tremendous amount of empathy and compassion. A little girl who just turned eight, celebrated her birthday being cancer free, but that wasn’t enough for her – for her birthday, she raised money and had gifts donated to her friends that are still fighting in the hospital. Incredible!
Zoe Figueroa celebrated being cancer-free with a birthday party-turned charity event to help her friends who are fighting the same fight that she fought and won.
Zoe Figueroa and her family hosted the July 6 event with 200 guests in attendance. The celebration took place days after the 8-year-old’s actual birthday, which was the same day of her final treatment for stage 4 neuroblastoma.
“She wants to have another one,” dad Freddie Figueroa of Lakeside, California, told “Good Morning America” of the party. “She likes making her own videos and dancing and dress up. After each chemo treatment, during chemo, she’d just be dancing around. We never gave her opportunity to be sad. She’s always in good spirits and happy.”
Zoe was diagnosed with stage 4 neuroblastoma in 2018. She went through seven rounds of chemo, radiation, two stem cell transplants and a 10-hour surgery to remove part of her large tumor, which was located from her chest down to her pelvis.
“They told us at diagnosis there was a 50/50 chance of survival rate,” mom Sheena Figueroa told “GMA.” “That’s why it was so important to celebrate. We still have her here.”
Zoe pushed through and in January, her scans came back clear and she began immunotherapy, which induces your immune system to recognize and kill cancer cells — according to Mayo Clinic.
To commemorate both her 8th birthday and being cancer-free, the Figueroas held an “end of treatment” party.
In lieu of gifts, Zoe collected $750 in charity donations and 200 toys for her friends who are still in the hospital.
Supporters who attended were also invited to donate toys and funds directly to the hospitals that have helped Zoe and to foundations for children with neuroblastoma, like Team Parker for Life, the Kylie Rowand Foundation and Emery’s Memory Foundation.
“She’s been incredibly blessed in this journey through foundations and she doesn’t need anything [else],” Sheena Figueroa said. “Zoe said, ‘I want to give everything back to the kids.'”
As for the party, there was face painting, balloons and a game truck at the San Diego hall where the event was held.
Zoe had a blast and can’t wait to bring the toys to the kids at the children’s hospital in San Diego.
“She’s a firecracker,” mom said. “She has a pretty strong personality, which has been a blessing for her.”