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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.

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

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