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Meet Samantha Ronci

Today we’d like to introduce you to Samantha Ronci.

Hi Samantha, please kick things off for us with an introduction to yourself and your story.
I have always wanted to help others – since I was very young, around the age of eight years old!

During my freshman year of high school, a girl named Ella, from my elementary school, passed away from Leukemia. I knew I wanted to do something in her honor, but little did I know she would lead me to the journey of a lifetime.

I got in touch with the Navarra family from Virginia. Their little girl, Emily, was battling Medulloblastoma at the time. Her cancer had just come back, and it had come with a vengeance.

Her story cut deep within me.

This little girl was six years old and living her absolute final days. It was mind-boggling but beautiful to see her strength.

I sent Emily a package in the mail. It was a Build a Bear. Her mom sent me a picture of her with her bear, and I knew that this is what I was meant to do.

Unfortunately, on April 15, 2020, Emily gained her angel wings and ultimately won her battle to childhood cancer.

Em changed my life, and her sparkle shines in my life each day. Anyone who knows me knows Emily, and I’m so honored to be able to live for her and my faith.

Since I was a little girl, I’ve dreamed of helping kids with cancer… and now I’m here.

It’s beautiful, and I thank God for it every day.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
I don’t think anything is a smooth road. We all have our individual struggles, and that’s why our paths are all uniquely beautiful.

One of my biggest struggles have been dealing with the loss of these kids.

Childhood cancer is an ugly thing.

After Emily passed, whenever another warrior passes a piece of my heart shatters every time.

Losses like this REALLY bring me to my knees. When one of my kiddos pass, a piece of me does too… but it gives me more of a reason to honor them. It gives me more of a push to keep sending packages and to keep bringing smiles to these faces.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
I’m currently 16 years old. My job is Sami’s SendOff’s, my nonprofit organization, built in honor of Emily Grace Navarra. I send care packages to children in her honor.

I’m proud of the relationships I’ve built.

The forever second family I have gained, and everything in between.

This life is a blessing.

What would you say have been one of the most important lessons you’ve learned?
The most important lesson I have personally learned is to never take a single second for granted. This life is SO fragile.

Things can really change in the blink of an eye, and I’m thankful these kids have taught me that.

Because of them, I’ve learned how to live my life but REALLY live it.

I’ve learned to have 0 regrets.

I’ve learned to “yolo” things every once in a while because it’s true. You only live once.

I’ve learned that I only get one life.

One chance.

One moment to make a difference.

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