One Atlanta girl's wish will now help thousands of children fighting cancer

ATLANTA — One 21 year old's wish began as a simple act of kindness.

While facing regular chemotherapy treatments as she was battling Hodgkin's lymphoma at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, Katie Smotherman formed a relationship with a girl who was also fighting childhood cancer.

That girl, who was full of courage and hope, was terrified of having her port accessed.

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A port is a small disc made of plastic or metal about the size of a quarter that sits just under the skin. A soft thin tube called a catheter connects the port to a large vein. Chemotherapy medicine is administered through a special needle that fits into the port. Blood can also be drawn through the port.

Smotherman realized that if her friend had a treatment buddy with a port just like hers, she might not be so afraid. This was the start of Katie's Treatment Buddies, the cuddly bears that have ports in them.

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On Sunday, Smotherman's wish came true.

In celebration of World Wish Day, Make-A-Wish Georgia granted Smotherman's wish to expand her treatment buddies.  

Smotherman thought she was coming to kick off Make-A-Wish Georgia's local #ArmWrestleChallenge and then distribute her bears to children at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta.

However, Make-A-Wish Georgia had big surprise in store for Smotherman. She wished for 40 Treatment Buddies, and instead got 2,400 bears to be distributed to other Make-A-Wish chapters across the country.

You can watch her reaction below:

Katie’s wish to give her buddies to kids with ports inspired a movement! With the help of UPS, #KatiesBuddies made their way to 17 states throughout the US. It was the BEST way to celebrate #WorldWishDay. This #WishAccomplished is music to our ears!! 😍💗👏🏼

Posted by Make-A-Wish Georgia on Monday, April 30, 2018
Katie's Wish Day is here!

We are coming to you live from Katie’s Wish!

Posted by Make-A-Wish Georgia on Sunday, April 29, 2018