When I watched Sarah Donegan speak, I wept. The 12 year old has endured more than most of us could ever imagine in a lifetime. Her passion and pain is palpable. But she’s so strong.
And when I found out the lengths her community went to, in order to bring a smile to her face, the tears came rolling down my cheeks again. It is humanity at its finest, and these are the stories that should be told by mainstream media: stories that move us and inspire us to be better humans. The stories that propel us toward connection rather than polarize us.
In January of this year, Sarah was getting seizures. Her family didn’t know what was happening to their vivacious 11-year-old daughter. The Santa Clarita resident went in for a CAT scan, and that’s doctors discovered an aggressive brain tumor called a Glioblastoma, the same type senator John McCain had. Obviously, the news rocked her family’s world in the worst possible way. But their faith was stronger.
Since January, Sarah has spent way too much time at the hospital. She goes to maintenance chemo every two weeks and MRIs every two months. The Donegans have been overwhelmed by love from their neighbors and their church. But nothing has quite compared to the birthday surprise that left Sarah stunned…in the best possible way.
For her birthday, they all gathered together, knowing Sarah might be too weak to celebrate much, and dozens of people came to her. As Sarah opened the door, her facial expression was priceless. She collapsed into her mom’s arms in tears of happiness. There were banners with her name on them and messages of hope. Everyone sang happy birthday. Sarah expressed how the support of so many kind people has helped her keep fighting.
Sarah wants to help other kids and is now writing a children’s book to help kids battling cancer know they are loved, and they are not alone. You can follow her journey on Facebook
All I can really say is that as a reporter, you cover some ugly things. But these stories keep my hope alive. The goodness in humanity is pervasive, if we so choose to see it. And Sarah, the world is better because you are in it!
Here’s the video link to Sarah’s story: https://ktla.com/2018/10/11/birthday-surprise-gives-santa-clarita-girl-diagnosed-with-brain-cancer-strength-to-keep-fighting/