While her friends were looking forward to the 2004 Christmas Break, Sixteen year old Sabryna was seeing doctors to try and determine the cause of a huge lump that had recently developed in her throat. Two needle-biopsies had not detected any cancer, so Sabryna was scheduled for surgery to remove what her surgeon believed was a benign growth growing on her thyroid.

Unfortunately, when the surgeon cut into the growth, it was immediately clear Sabryna’s throat was full of cancerous tumors. She was referred to Loma Linda’s Children’s Hospital where she was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s disease. Not a very nice Christmas present.

Because Sabryna started chemotherapy right away, she had to be pulled from school and has had to remain home since her diagnosis. Missing all the social activities of high school was bad enough, but not being able to keep up with her academics was worse. Sabryna, with the help of her Mom, had learned of a new program that would allow her to complete her high school studies over the internet. That was the key factor in Sabryna asking for a laptop computer for her wish. She knew she wanted a Dell Inspirion 700 which is what she received, along with a printer, and free internet access for 18 months.

On Sunday, March 6, Corky and I delivered her gifts and finally had a chance to meet the lovely young lady I had spoken with several times on the phone. Mom and Grandpa were home too. We spent some time getting everything set-up on the computer, to include the most important e-mail account! Since then we’ve been e-mailing to each other and have begun what we hope will be a long, healthy friendship. Enjoy your laptop Sabryna, and do try to get some studies in while you’re surfing the net!

Annette Bell