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Cancer survivor's first and last day of school photos inspire thousands

Posted at 5:54 AM, Jun 11, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-11 05:54:42-04

KANSAS CITY, MO (WDAF/CNN) – A picture of a 7-year-old cancer survivor in Missouri depicting her battle with the disease is going viral and giving others hope.

Sophi Eber, 7, is excited about becoming an Internet celebrity.

"It feels amazing. I've always wanted to do this ever since I was a little kid,” she said.

Sophi’s parents posted a picture on Reddit of the little girl in which she’s holding a photo from the first day of school, during her year-long journey battling neuroblastoma.

The picture shows the contrast between that first day and Sophi on her last day of school, where she has a full head of hair and is cancer free.

But it’s the little warrior’s story that turned Sophi into an inspiration for thousands.

The 7-year-old had six rounds of chemotherapy, 14 rounds of radiation, a 9-hour surgery and immunotherapy.

"Every one of those… treatments was 30 minutes of excruciating pain,” said Sophi’s mom, Bethany Eber.

But even in Sophi’s first day picture, where she had a tube in her nose, she was still smiling.

"Her fighting spirit, the way she's handled it the entire time is remarkable. It's truly an inspiration,” said Sophi’s dad, Zachary Eber.

Sophi’s parents shared the now-famous photo on Reddit because they wanted to give others hope.

"Don't give up. Keep fighting it as best you can,” Zachary Eber said.

Sophi says despite her new popularity, she’s still the same “friendship princess” as she was on the first day of school, ready to give a smile or a hug no matter what someone looks like.

"I want them to know that they are special, and even though they might not have things other people do, they have an important part of them. They can let it shine through and be their own person,” Sophi said.

Sophi will be spending her summer doing all the things she loves, like painting, riding her bike and playing with her new baby brother, who was born during her treatment.

"With what she's gone through and her brain and her heart and all of those things put together, she can change the world, and I fully expect her to,” Bethany Eber said.

Copyright 2017 WDAF, Eber Family, Reddit via CNN. All rights reserved.