OLEAN N.Y. (WIVB) – Members of Bills Mafia are rallying around a local teen, as she battles Hepatocellular Carcinoma, a rare form of liver cancer. Sophia LaBorde never thought she’d have to fight a rare form of liver cancer, but she also didn’t expect such positive experiences would soon follow.
The 12 year-old found out she had tumors in her liver and lungs back in June of this year.
“It’s like a parents worst nightmare to hear that your child has cancer,” Sophia’s mom Alicia said.
While at Oishei Children’s Hospital receiving treatment Sophia had a few special visitors, including Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen.
“He was just really nice and he seemed like a really genuine guy,” Sophia said. “That’s when I sort of realized I wanted to be a part of Bills mafia and I really love the Bills.”
Since then, Sophia has gone to football games, met even more players and really embraced being a fan herself.
“It makes me feel normal and it helps me have fun while I’m going through a really hard situation,” she said. “It makes me feel more positive about all of this because it’s something good that’s come out of something really horrible and the worst thing that can happen to me.”
This month the company 26 Shirts is selling a new design, where a portion of the sales will go toward Sophia and her medical expenses.
“Bills fans are known for some crazy antics before games but really what we’re known for is helping,” 26 Shirts founder Del Reid said. “That’s what 26 Shirts grew out of and so we really wanted to just do what we can to help with every opportunity that we find.”
“They have no idea how much it’s helped us out but it’s been something great coming out of a really horrible situation,” Sophia said.
Sophia recently finished her eighth and final round of chemo. Her family says she’ll be heading to a hospital in Boston next week for more treatment. However before then, she says she will be going to Sunday night’s game between the Bills and Packers.
For a link to Sophia’s GoFundMe, click here.