Leanna Harris ‘18: In November of 2006, Sophia Bej, a junior at Romeo High School, suffered the loss of her dad, Orest Bej, to stage four brain cancer. While being treated in a Crittenton Hospital, doctors believed that his occupation as a chemist may have caused his cancer, due to the fumes involved in his day to day work. Bej’s battle was not short nor easy. His battle lasted around a year, and Sophia remembers her exact location when her father began to show symptoms.
“I was sitting with him at the table and we were playing Jenga and he had a horrible seizure, that’s when we found out he had cancer,” Bej said.
Losing a parent is a traumatic experience, but Bej said the hardest part of the whole experience was watching her mother deal with everything going on.
“Seeing my mom freak about everything, and having two kids, a two year old and a six year old at the time,” Bej said.
Every cancer battle has a different story. Some fight extremely hard and long battles while some fight hard and short battles. No battle is easy. Bej’s father’s battle progressed very quickly.
“He got really bad really quick. There was a point where they thought he was going to get better but then he continued getting worse,” Bej said.
After losing her dad, Bej realizes the importance of events such as Watchdog for various reasons. She loves the focus and how appreciated and honored everyone involved is.
“I think Watchdog is a great opportunity to raise money. I love how the focus is on a cure for all cancers,” Bej said. “I love seeing so many people getting involved for such a good cause and seeing all of the families that have or are being affected by cancer feel loved and appreciated.”
The annual watchdog game was another success this year. Thank you for supporting Romeo’s family and friends who have been affected by cancer in various ways, like Sophia Bej.