Sofia Grace Canchola
July 14, 2020
On Tuesday, July 14, 2020 God welcomed 17-year-old, beautiful, courageous warrior, Sofia Grace Canchola, into HIS loving arms and to her heavenly home. Sofia courageously and gracefully battled Glioblastoma brain cancer for the past two and a half years.
All of those that knew Sofia are deeply saddened by her passing, but we also smile because she lived and touched the lives of so many. Our hearts, while sad, are also full of the love that Sofia shared with everyone she met. We ask all of you that knew Sofia to be happy, be happy that you had the opportunity to know Sofia, an amazing young lady. We will miss Sofia, our sweet angel, more than you can imagine and she will forever live in our hearts.
Her Celebration of Life service will be at 2 pm on Monday, July 20, 2020 at the Weborg Center in Gering with Pastor Tim Hebbert presiding. A private family viewing will be held Sunday at Dugan-Kramer funeral home in Scottsbluff.
Sofia was born on New Year's Day 2003 at Regional West Medical Center to Valerie Harnish and Chad Canchola. She was an exceptional baby and grew into a vibrant, happy toddler. Her father was tragically killed in a MVA, Memorial weekend 2008.
Sofia attended Geil elementary, Gering Junior High and was to be a senior at Scottsbluff High School this fall. Before cancer took hold of Sofia in these final weeks, she loved to swim and loved to run. She spent her summer days at the Gering pool from open to close and was fondly nicknamed "braids" for the way she fixed her hair for optimal swimming.
Sofia was also the girl that loved bugs and dreamed of one day becoming an entomologist. She had a true love for education, learning new lessons and excelled academically. She enjoyed art and was extremely talented and creative. Sofia was also a recipient of Presidential Fitness awards.
Sofia never wanted the spotlight to be on her, she allowed others to bask while being in a supportive role. Her sense of humor and laughter were absolutely contagious. Through many trips to Denver for treatment, Sofia never met a stranger and always made new friends along the way. Her Neuro-oncology team has remarked what a joy and positive light she always brought to clinic. We know Sofia has touched many lives and in return, our lives have been touched by those who were fortunate to get to know her.
Sofia never saw herself as dying, never wallowed and always kept up a positive attitude that she would beat this cancer. Sofia was Blessed with a trip from Make a Wish Nebraska to Costa Rica in January of this year, where she got to dip her toes in the Pacific Ocean, viewed sloths, tree frogs, iguanas, alligators, toucans and howler monkeys. We came away from that trip with new friends in Guanacaste. She was also Blessed with another wish from Team Ashtyn, to meet her very special friend Rhett and his mother Cedar Skinner of Preston ID. Sofia and Rhett bonded over social media and he was a driving force of her will to keep fighting for more time on Earth. They enjoyed spending time visiting, sharing her favorite places in Denver and laughing up a storm. We are Blessed to have their friendship.
Sofia is survived by her mother, Valerie Harnish, sisters Nicol Harnish of Gering, Brittany Brown of Minnetonka, MN, Peyton Cagle of Sterling, CO, and brother Joshua Harnish of Gering, grandmother Maryann Ott of Gering, grandparents Mike & MaryAnn Canchola of Sterling, CO, Uncle Kevin (Natalie) Ott of Scottsbluff and their children Dexter, Rylee and Clancee , Uncle Kendall Busch of Mitchell and his children Mariah (Dakota) Webb of Gering and Cutler (Cassidy Frahm) of Gering. Uncle David Canchola of Denver, CO, Aunts Cindy (Doug) Asmus of Yuma, CO daughters Shelli (John) Adams and Melissa Austin, Aunt Anita Canchola of Denver, CO, daughter Jaylene (Matt) Peterson, Aunt Beth (Dan) Wilkening of Holyoke, CO daughters Amber, Lauren, Nichole and Danielle, Aunt Jodi Newth of Haxtun, CO children Sierra, Malorie and Reece and Aunt Tricia (Dan) Tramp of Arickaree CO and children Dru, Kirstie and Tristan, special family friends Brad, Karen and Maggie Foos of Denver, The Skinner family of Preston ID and a multitude of new friends in Denver. A special thank you to Alan Doll and Jami Kumm for their tender loving care to Sofia.
Sofia was preceded in death by her father, Chad Canchola (1973-2008), maternal grandfather, Jerry Ott (1938-2013) and maternal Aunt Tami Busch (1966-2016). In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the family to designate at a later date. Due to several factors, Sofia's desire to further research through tissue donation was not able to be done. Gering Memorial Chapel is in charge of arrangements. Online condolences may be left at www.geringchapel.com.