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.


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