'In my heart, I can still see Sophia playing here,' dad says at Ocean Springs dedication

Sophia Myers will be remembered for generations to come at the place she loved best — the Little Children's Park in Ocean Springs.

Sophia's parents, Josh Myers and Angel Myers McIlrath, had a butterfly bench installed at the park as a way to honor their child's memory for generations to come.

"In my heart, I can still see Sophia playing here in the stream, climbing trees and, running to her favorite swing before somebody else took it," Josh Myers said. "I loved swinging my baby on that swing."

Sophia died Oct. 20 after a nearly eight-month battle with a rare cancer called diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma, or DIPG. She is the third Ocean Springs area child to die of the rare cancer in the last eight years.

Josh Myers worked with Mayor Shea Dobson and other city officials to get the bench installed at the park as way to keep Sophia's memory alive.

"Sophia's bench is almost in the same sport as it was when we brought her home from the hospital (last year after her diagnosis)," Myers said. "She would love knowing she is giving so much to the kids of Ocean Springs."

Mississippi Sen. Brice Wiggins honored the family with a plaque designating May 17, 2018, as DIPG Awareness Day in Mississippi.

Several others honored the family for sharing Sophia's story with them, including District Attorney Tony Lawrence, who said Sophia was a member of the family in his office.

Rep. Charles Busby added: "Thank you for sharing her with us and the world in raising awareness (to DIPG)."

Wiggins and Busby also assured the parents they would do all they can to ensure Sophia is never forgotten.

Margaret Baker 228-896-0538, margar45