Samantha Dacong, 14, is small for her age. But her heart is as big as they come.
"I want to give," said Samantha, who goes by Sammie. "Instead of thinking about what I want."
The freshman at St. Francis High School Sacramento was born with a rare genetic disorder that caused a lot of health issues. When she was 9 years old, she was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a bone cancer.
"She's ben very resilient," said Gina Dacong, her mother. "Her spirit is still strong."
Sammie had to make a tough decision: to amputate her leg or to put a rod in, but always have to go back for surgery. She decided to go with the amputation and get a prosthetic leg. During her treatment, one thought kept her moving forward: her Make-A-Wish.
A year after she was diagnosed, Sammie and her family spent a week at Disney World in Orlando. It's been four years and now, Sammie wants to be an ambassador for the organization that made her dreams come true.
At her high school's 'Day of Dreams,' Sammie was surprised by her classmates with a special recognition in front of the whole school. The CEO of Make-A-Wish had a special message and Sammie got to meet the man who sponsored her Disney World trip.
There was not a dry eye in the building.
"I didn't mean to [make all the girls cry]," said Sammie. "I was crying as much as they were. It was overwhelming, but I couldn't help but be happy about it."
"It reminds you there's all these bad things that can happen, [but sometimes] beautiful things come out out of it," said Gina.
Sammie has been done with treatment, but her parents say doctors haven't officially declared her cancer-free. They have a very rigorous schedule and has annual exams, checking her bones and her blood.
Her parents say it's all about being positive and they're thankful for the support of their family, friends, St. Roberts Church, and now St. Francis High School.
"I used to think life sucked," said Sammie. "After surviving, I still feel 'Why should I deserve to be here?' I know now why."
Sammie feels she was meant to help other people.
"Even if times are hard," said Sammie. "You have to seek help for others too."
Sammie said she hopes to one day be a spokesperson for Make-A-Wish or even start her organization to help children battling medical illnesses. She also wants to be a video game creator, because video games helped her 'escape reality' when she was going through treatment.
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