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Meet Honoree Sophia and Runner Nick


Introducing Sophia, a remarkable example of strength and courage. Despite being only 14 years old, she has faced more challenges than most adults do in a lifetime. When she was just 4 years old, Sophia was diagnosed with Wilms Tumor. Her relentless positivity, boundless creativity, and sense of humor have lifted the spirits of those around her and served as a source of hope for her parents and the entire community.

At a young age, Sophia faced surgeries, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy. Still, she often reminded people, “I am one tough cookie.” The chemotherapy treatment that Sophia received was developed 30 years before her treatment. This indicates that there had been no advancements in Wilms Tumor therapy for over 30 years! Despite her young age, Sophia constantly desired a better experience for childhood cancer patients diagnosed after her. She prayed for a chemotherapy treatment that would cure cancer without causing stomach pain or hair loss. Sophia’s journey deeply inspired her parents, who found their strength in her unwavering faith and resilience. She is a true hero, showcasing bravery and a spirit that knows no bounds.

While at 4 years old and undergoing cancer treatments, Sophia adored Disney princesses, and her dream of a magical trip to Disney World came true: Sophia met her favorite princess, Merida, the bravest of them all! As the years passed and she prevailed over cancer, her passions and interests expanded. Sophia is now a gifted musician, artist, and committed member of her school’s tech crew. Her future aspiration? Attending college and becoming an architect, a testament to her unwavering optimism and motivation.

With a hopeful spirit and a drive to make a difference, Sophia advocates for improved treatments for childhood cancers through Dragon Master Initiative’s research funding. She is one tough cookie, and her unwavering positivity brings joy and hope. Keep shining bright, Sophia!


Runner Spotlight

Nick is a dedicated and passionate runner who has found a deep sense of purpose that connects his love forrunning to his professional career. Participating in his second Dopey Challenge alongside Team Fired Up, Nick holds a special spot in his heart for the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend. His running journey began during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic as a means to remain active. Since then, he has embraced the activity wholeheartedly.

Nick’s dedication to running is not just about personal achievement but also about making a difference. His background in biotechnology has given him a unique perspective on the importance of bridging information gaps for disease cures. This understanding led him to Dragon Master Initiative. The initiative’s mission to fund research and development for pediatric brain cancer through data collaboration struck a chord with him, reminding him of the importance of every step he takes. He felt compelled to take action upon learning how Amanda Haddock founded the charity as a response to the devastating loss of her son, David. Nick is raising awareness and funds by making a tangible difference in those affected by this horrible disease.

Whether pounding the pavement or confronting challenges in the dynamic biotechnology industry, Nick’s determination to bring about positive change is a powerful source of inspiration.


Nick’s Fundraising Tip

Nick’s collaboration with local businesses has led to successful campaigns. One recent campaign involved selling eclipse glasses before the total solar eclipse in April, raising nearly $1,000. Nick’s commitment to fundraising and creative partnerships continues to drive success in supporting Dragon Master Initiative.


Author: Sarah Zuk

Interested in being in a future honoree or runner spotlight? Email for more information.