The Make-A-Wish Foundation was forced to put many cancer patients' wishes on hold because of the pandemic. But a remarkable young woman from La Plata, Maryland, decided it was an opportunity to donate her gift to help others.
At 17, Sonya was diagnosed with thyroid cancer.
"I honestly didn’t know what to feel back then and I was scared," she said.
When Sonya found out she was eligible for Make-A-Wish, she chose a trip to Japan. She loves the culture and had always dreamed of visiting.
But then the coronavirus pandemic happened, and those plans were put on hold.
"I thought to myself if I can’t get a trip to Japan, I might as well use my wish to make the world a better place," Sonya said.
She knew she wanted to support Black Lives Matter, and make a difference during the pandemic. So she picked five groups to give her wish to.
Among them, the NAACP, Feeding America and the Coronavirus Relief Fund.
"I want to show that … together we will get through it, like I am doing with my cancer and many other patients like me," Sonya said.
Today, those groups got the chance to say thank you to Sonya through a video call.
"I want you to understand, there are kids who will go to bed with full bellies because of what you’ve done," Feeding America CEO Claire Babineaux-Fontenot said.
Sonya’s parents say they couldn’t be more proud.
"She really is selfless. She really wants to make this world a better place," her mom told News4.
While Sonya won’t get to visit Japan, she says giving has been the best gift of all.
"This day has been amazing. I cannot explain it in words," she said.