Make-A-Wish, Kansas City businesses celebrate teen cancer survivor

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – In her 18 years, Samantha Staples has endured more than most in their life. But no matter what life has thrown at her, she has never lost her smile.

When Samantha was 6 years old, her mother died of cancer. It was difficult for Samantha to overcome the loss of her mother. She attended Camp Kesem for several years, where counselors help children whose parents have cancer tackle the difficult road ahead.

Years later, Samantha herself received a shocking diagnosis.

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When Samantha was 13 years old, she suddenly lost her ability to walk unaided. After seeking medical advice, doctors discovered she had congenital myasthenia gravis. While doctors were running tests, they also found that Samantha had ovarian cancer.

At the age of 16, Samantha underwent a partial hysterectomy.

Since then she has been cancer free for two years.

“A long journey. It’s been tough, but every day is quite a good, bad day,” said Samantha.

Samantha’s wish to travel to Italy was canceled due to COVID-19 restrictions. So instead, the Make-A-Wish Foundation and several Kansas City companies decided to give her the shopping pleasure of a lifetime.

“Everyone has been so nice and I’ve had a great time so far,” said Samantha.

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Samantha and her sister Christina got into a limo to enjoy the best Kansas City has to offer, but of course not without jamming to some Taylor Swift on the way.

Christina said Samantha’s strength and optimism are second to none.

If something else happens, she says, “ What’s next? I’ve beaten everything else. I’ll beat this too, ”Christina said.

Those who helped make Samantha’s wish come true said her joy is contagious.

“She just started talking, smiling, and laughing,” said Kelly Nadeau, philanthropy manager of the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

‘She’s a great personality. She is so much fun to be around. She’s super real, ”said Alyson Jacobsmeyer, a Kendra Scott employee.

A Gofundme page has been set up for Samantha to help realize her dreams and get a camera.

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