Meet February CCA Hero – Sarai

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Sarai is quiet and shy at first, but when she finally breaks into a radiant smile, it’s well worth the wait. The best way to get her to open up is to make animal noises, something her Grandpa Jorge just happens to be very good at. “She adores animals, especially horses,” he explained.

The Perfect Chemo Pal

When Sarai was born, she was diagnosed with a rare genetic condition called Pompe disease, which inhibits muscle growth and can cause respiratory issues. Her treatment requires ongoing infusions, which isn’t much fun for a four-year-old. That’s where her Chemo Pal, Rachel, comes in.

When Rachel was matched with Sarai two years ago, the pair quickly formed a bond over Play-Doh dates, coloring books, and of course, playing with toy animals. Their friendship has also meant a lot to Sarai’s mother, Rosa.

Resilience and Patience

“I really like that Sarai has someone that she can play with and look forward to seeing,” said Rosa. “Before Rachel came along, she wouldn’t talk at all. Now she’s starting to warm up and get a lot more chatty.” Rachel has noticed a difference as well. “Every time I visit I’m impressed by Sarai’s resilience and patience,” she explained. “I feel so lucky to be her Chemo Pal.”

This little lady has big hopes of meeting a real horse someday and even going for a ride. Sarai hasn’t quite decided what she wants to be when she grows up, but with strength and courage like hers, she’ll undoubtedly be anything she sets her mind to.