Advertisement
  1. News
  2. /
  3. Florida

Florida girl, 6, is cancer-free for first time in more than a year

Sarai Salinas-Hernandez was diagnosed with metastatic stage 4 rhabdomyosarcoma cancer on Thanksgiving weekend 2018.
Sarai Salinas-Hernandez, 6, of Collier County is cancer-free for the first time in more than a year. [Facebook]
Sarai Salinas-Hernandez, 6, of Collier County is cancer-free for the first time in more than a year. [Facebook]
Published Dec. 13, 2019
Updated Dec. 13, 2019

The lyrics were changed to suit the occasion.

As 6-year-old Sarai Salinas-Hernandez of Collier County, dressed in a blue dress, black sweater, open-toed sandals — and ever-present, gap-toothed smile — entered a room at Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida earlier this week, she was serenaded by family, friends and care workers singing to the tune of the Oscar Mayer “Balogna” song.

Our patients have the cutest smile.

Our patients have the biggest heart.

We love to see you everyday,

but now it’s time for us to say,

'Pack your bags; get out the door.

You don’t get chemo anymore!'

Sarai then rang a bell, signaling that, for the first time in more than a year, she is cancer-free, the hospital posted on Facebook.

RING THE BELL SARAI! 🛎 We are so happy to announce that Sarai is cancer-free! On Thanksgiving weekend 2018, Sarai, 6,...

Posted by Golisano Children's Hospital of Southwest Florida on Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Sarai was taken to the emergency room with stomach pain the Saturday after Thanksgiving last year. After emergency surgery, doctors found a cancerous tumor near her bladder.

She was later diagnosed with metastatic stage 4 rhabdomyosarcoma cancer.

For months, she underwent radiation treatment five days a week, followed by chemotherapy.

She missed the rest of her kindergarten year and lost her long, black hair.

But she never lost her smile.

Sarai arrived in good spirits for each treatment session, the hospital wrote, wearing sparkly ballet slippers, a tutu skirt and hair bow.

“They are incredibly resilient," Dr. Craig MacArthur told told Fox 4 News in Cape Coral. “Even when she was in the most miserable of pain, her mom found a way to see the good side of things.”

Tuesday, the family found something else to celebrate.

“My hair is coming back," Sarai told Fox 4.

Sarai Ringing the Bell!

RING THE BELL SARAI! 🛎 🛎🛎 We are so happy to announce that Sarai is cancer-free! On Thanksgiving weekend 2018, Sarai, 6, of Collier County, was taken to the emergency department with stomach pain. During surgery at Golisano Children’s Hospital, doctors removed a tumor near her bladder and she was later diagnosed with metastatic stage 4 rhabdomyosarcoma cancer. Sarai needed aggressive radiation treatment five days a week for several months, followed by chemotherapy. She missed the rest of her kindergarten year and lost all her long, jet-black hair. Through her treatment, Sarai kept smiling, arriving for each appointment in sparkly ballet slippers, tutu skirt and big hair bow. Sarai is officially cancer-free, surrounded by her family, friends and her care team at Golisano. Ringing the bell is a rite of passage for all patients when completing their cancer treatment. #gogolisano #leehealthcares

Posted by Golisano Children's Hospital of Southwest Florida on Tuesday, December 10, 2019

ALSO IN THIS SECTION

  1. Clockwise from left: Cheesy Sriracha Funnel Cake Bites, Piña Colada Candy Apple, Candy Corn and Cheeseburger-On-A-Stick [Courtesy of the Florida State Fair]
    Cheesy Sriracha Funnel Cake Bites, Piña Colada Candy Apples and more are coming to the Florida State Fair.
  2. A stunned iguana lies in the grass at Cherry Creek Park in Oakland Park, Fla., Wednesday. The National Weather Service Miami posted Tuesday on its official Twitter that residents shouldn't be surprised if they see iguanas falling from trees as lows drop into the 30s and 40s. The low temperatures stun the invasive reptiles, but the iguanas won't necessarily die. That means many will wake up as temperatures rise Wednesday. (Joe Cavaretta/South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP) [JOE CAVARETTA  |  AP]
    Iguana meat, dubbed “chicken of the trees,” started showing up on Facebook Marketplace overnight, as the temperature dipped into the 40s.
  3. An iguana lies draped on a tree limb as it waits for the sunrise, Wednesday, in Surfside, Fla. The National Weather Service Miami posted Tuesday on its official Twitter that residents shouldn't be surprised if they see iguanas falling from trees as lows drop into the 30s and 40s. The low temperatures stun the invasive reptiles, but the iguanas won't necessarily die. That means many will wake up as temperatures rise Wednesday. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee) [WILFREDO LEE  |  AP]
    The low temperatures stun the invasive reptiles, but the iguanas won’t necessarily die.
  4. In this Monday, Jan. 20, 2020, booking photo provided by the Orange County Sheriff's office is Mason Toney. Toney, 28, was charged with first-degree murder for the killing of his boss, William Knight, on Monday, according to an arrest affidavit from the Orange County Sheriff's Office. Co-workers told investigators that Toney and Knight were friends outside of work despite their political differences. (Orange County Sheriff's Office via AP) [AP]
    Mason Toney, 28, was charged with first-degree murder for the killing of William Knight on Monday, according to an arrest affidavit from the Orange County Sheriff’s Office.
  5. Joseph Hernandez Hall is home to the University of Florida's chemistry department, where a faculty member recently resigned after officials discovered he failed to disclose his strong ties to China. While at UF, the faculty member also held positions at two Chinese universities, including vice president and dean. The faculty member was not named in a report obtained Tuesday from the Florida Legislature. [University of Florida]
    They also collected grant money from the U.S. government while never disclosing their outside work in China.
  6. Researchers aboard the R/V Bellows work to bring a blacktip shark aboard during a research cruise on Monday, April 17, 2017, off the coast of Florida.  The blacktip shark are responsible for most unprovoked shark attacks in Florida waters.
    The drop may be a result of climate change, but it’s hard to say for sure.
  7. German beer accompanies a serving of currywurst and schnitzel topped with mushrooms and garlic fries at German Knödle, 951 Central Ave. in St. Petersburg. [MARTHA ASENCIO RHINE  |  Times]
    Nutella-stuffed potato dumplings and rave reviews put German Knödle on Yelp’s Top 100 Places to Eat in the U.S. list.
  8. Robert Eugene Koehler, a 60-year-old registered sex offender from Palm Bay, was arrested Saturday. Authorities believe he is the notorious “Pillowcase Rapist,” who was blamed for attacking over 40 women in South Florida during the early 1980s. [Miami Herald]
    Authorities say the man who spent five years attacking women from South Miami to Deerfield Beach is a 60-year-old registered sex offender from Palm Bay.
  9. Sea rise is pushing inland and amplifying the threats from hurricanes, wiping out one of the rarest forests on the planet in the Florida Keys. [MATIAS J. OCNER  |  mocner@miamiherald.com]
    A recent study has found that the Gulf Coast has lost 57 square miles of forest over just more than a century.
  10. A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket lifts off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Monday, Nov. 11, 2019, in Cape Canaveral, Fla. SpaceX launched 60 mini satellites Monday, the second batch of an orbiting network meant to provide global internet coverage. (Craig Bailey/Florida Today via AP) [CRAIG BAILEY/FLORIDA TODAY  |  AP]
    No one was aboard for the wild ride in the skies above Cape Canaveral, just two mannequins.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement