“Home for the holidays” will carry a special meaning for so many this Christmas, but especially for the family of Maggie Lent.
Before she was even born, doctors told Maggie's mother she would have a rare genetic disorder called trisomy 8 mosaicism syndrome (T8mS).
Doctors told Lissette Torres-Lent if her daughter survived the birth she could be blind, unable to talk and may never walk.
Maggie would undergo multiple surgeries and be placed on a feeding tube. Eventually, she would overcome the obstacles she faced -- talking and walking well enough to go to school.
“She continues to beat the odds at everything thrown at her.” Torres-Lent said.
Lissette said her daughter was bullied at a playground. Once she was forcibly removed from the playground.
Lissette wrote a children's book. Maggie was the main character, pushing for acceptance of differences.
She would also start Red Glasses Productions, aimed at helping parents and children alike learn how to treat people who may act or look a little differently from themselves.
However, after a laundry list of medical issues the latest hurdle for Maggie came this fall. Doctors found a mass in her reproductive system. It was cancer.
“After everything else that she has experience in her life, how is this one more thing?” Torres-Lent said.
The community gathered around Maggie, from private showings of "Frozen II", to being honored by her local school board, to meeting Coyote and Suns players. The family tried to make the best of a bad situation.
Maggie returned home from the hospital after her most recent round of chemo this week. She still has a way to go on her way to recovery, but home means an ability for a family to carry on traditions, from baking to gathering around the Christmas Tree.
They are thankful for the little light available during the special holiday season.
“It puts your whole life in perspective and realize what’s important. We just want families to know to not lose hope. Just because you have this diagnosis doesn’t mean you can’t have hope,” Torres-Lent said.