Natalia's smile is as bright as the little pink cast around her leg. Despite the constant doctor visits, chemotherapy and radiation, this 8-year-old girl is grateful.
"I feel better than yesterday, I feel happy," Natalia said with a grin.
Natalia has a rare form of bone cancer called Ewing Saracoma. She was diagnosed in December and is now on an aggressive treatment plan through the summer. The medicine often takes a toll on her body and energy.
"Sometimes, I don't feel good because of the medication they give me and I feel drowsy sometimes," she said.
Her lack of energy usually prevents her from attending classes at Lutz Prep School. But she Skypes from home every day, and when she's absent, a very special stuffed monkey sits in her seat to remind her classmates that she'll be back soon.
Natalia's mom sits by her side through every doctor visit and MRI, and she's very proud of her daughter for her courage and strength.
"Courageous girl, she's gone through so much," she said.
But she has not endured it alone. Her family, church and entire school has helped her along the way. Her brother and his classmates even shaved their heads when Natalia's hair started falling out – actions her mom says is nothing short of a miracle.
"People just show up out of nowhere; they don't know you, and they say, 'here this is for Natalia,' or randomly in the mail cute little outfits, or we get home from the hospitals and there are valentines all over the floor," she said.
It's that kind of kindness that keeps Natalia strong, and the fact that in a few months and after a lot of therapy, she gets to be a kid again.
"Run, because I haven't done that in a long time," she said.
Please visit her Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Praying-for-Natalia/1403639516538606