In honor of Sophia Myers on what would have been her 8th birthday, her parents are asking Coast residents to donate to the Jackson County Animal Shelter.
Sophia, 7, died Oct. 20 after nearly an eight-month battle with a rare and inoperable brain tumor called diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma, or DIPG. She is the third Ocean Springs area child to die of the deadly cancer since 2010.
Sophia would have been 8 years old on Nov. 13.
As as way to honor Sophia’s love for animals, her mother, Angel Myers, asked for help to organize a pet food and supply drive to benefit the animal shelter.
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“I know I’ve asked a lot of you, but I’m asking just this one more thing,” Angel Myers said in a Facebook post requesting help to organize the push for shelter donations as well as pet adoptions.
The Ocean Springs Lions Club is organizing the drive and other residents and businesses have joined in to help.
More than a dozen locations will accept supplies such as dog and cat food, towels, metal bowls, pet treats, nail clippers, Dawn dish soap and cat litter. A complete list of items needed is outlined on the Jackson County Animal Shelter’s website.
“This drive could not have come at a better time,” Joe Barlow, director of the Jackson County Animal Shelter, said in a release. “We are honored and humbled by how much Sophia supported us.”
This is the second drive for the Jackson County Animal Shelter this year. Another took place in Pascagoula when Sophia was sick but able to attend.
Sophia’s battle with DIPG began in February when she was a first-grader at Oak Park Elementary in Ocean Springs.
Her mom and her dad, Josh Myers, chronicled her fight with the disease and their questions about the elevated number of cases of DIPG in the Ocean Springs area as explored in a Sun Herald six-part investigative series called Diagnosis: Death.
Since Sophia’s death, her parents have been working to keep her memory alive.
Donations to benefit the Jackson County Animal Shelter in honor of Sophia can be made at the following locations:
- Ocean Springs Fire Department, 3820 U.S. 90, Ocean Springs
- Ocean Springs City Hall, 1018 Porter Ave., Ocean Springs
- Prestige Auto Sales, 6104 Washington Ave., Ocean Springs
- Quakes Ice Creamery, 1922 U.S. 90, Ocean Springs
- Pampered Pets, 6025 Washington Ave., Ocean Springs
- Gautier City Hall, 3330 U.S. 90, Gautier
- First Baptist Church, 902 Live Oak Ave, Pascagoula
- Seymour Law Firm, PLLC, 14507 Lemoyne Blvd., Biloxi
- Gulf Coast Veterinary Clinic, 273 Iberville Drive, Biloxi
- Integrity Automotive Group, 3940 U.S. 90, Suite B, Ocean Springs
- Gautier Family Dentistry, 4113 Gautier-Vancleave Road, Gautier
- Baber’s Leasing, all locations on the Coast
- Southern Charm Furniture and Design, 1852 Pass Road, Gulfport