Hays teen featured on ‘The Today Show’


HAYS, Kan. (KSNW) – A Hays teenager undergoing cancer treatment in a Kansas City hospital was featured on “The Today Show” on Monday.

Children’s Mercy Hospital hosted a celebrity fundraiser called The Big Slick. During the event, “Today” host Al Roker interviewed Sophia Linenberger, 15.

She was also surprised by numerous celebrities including actress and singer Selena Gomez, actor Zachary Levi, comedian Rob Riggle, actor Paul Rudd and actor Jason Sudeikis to name a few.

Linenberger’s mom said Sophia was beaming with excitement during the event.

“Because of Big Slick, she was able to put the thoughts of chemotherapy, radiation and cancer to the side for a few days. She had the normal feeling of being a kid again,” said Jenny Lee Linenberger.

Sophia was diagnosed with Ewings Sarcoma in January. She has to undergo nearly nine months of chemotherapy and six weeks of radiation.

“I am so grateful for Children’s Mercy and the things they do for the children there. Not just only my child, but all the children that have to undergo things,” Linenberger said.

Zachary Levi sings to Sophia Linenberger during Big Slick fundraising event. Courtesy: Jenny Linenberger

During the event, Zachary Levi, the voice of the prince in “Tangled”, serenaded Sophia. A video of the interaction has since gone viral.

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