Drake makes birthday wish come true for Downers Grove girl at Lurie Children's Hospital

  • Drake takes a selfie Monday with 11-year-old Sofia Sanchez, a Downers Grove girl who is a heart patient at Lurie Children's Hospital in Chicago.

    Drake takes a selfie Monday with 11-year-old Sofia Sanchez, a Downers Grove girl who is a heart patient at Lurie Children's Hospital in Chicago. Courtesy of Lurie Children's Hospital

  • The rap star Drake surprised 11-year-old Sofia Sanchez on Monday in her hospital room at Lurie Children's Hospital in Chicago. Sofia, who is from Downers Grove, has been awaiting a heart transplant.

    The rap star Drake surprised 11-year-old Sofia Sanchez on Monday in her hospital room at Lurie Children's Hospital in Chicago. Sofia, who is from Downers Grove, has been awaiting a heart transplant. Courtesy of Lurie Children's Hospital

 
By Christopher Hacker
Daily Herald correspondent
Updated 8/21/2018 6:08 AM

An 11-year-old girl who asked Drake to visit her on her birthday while she awaits a heart transplant saw her birthday wish come true when the three-time Grammy Award winner stopped by her hospital room Monday.

Sofia Sanchez has been listening to Drake's music during her seven-week stay at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital in Chicago while she waits for a new heart, said her mom, Natalie Sanchez.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Sofia's favorite Drake song, "God's Plan," has been especially inspiring to the fan who turned 11 on Saturday.

"That actually has been a big influence for her. She would say, 'God has a plan for me, too,' just like his song," Natalie Sanchez said Thursday. "She loved how he was giving back to the community. She just thinks he's a great guy."

Sofia finally got to meet her idol when Drake visited her Monday.

"Me and my love Sofia talking about Bieber and Owls and Basketball," Drake said in the first of two emoji-filled Instagram posts, which garnered a total of over 1.5 million likes.

Sofia was diagnosed over the summer with cardiomyopathy, a heart condition that can lead to heart failure. She had open heart surgery a few weeks ago and is now on the waitlist for a heart transplant, a process that can take up to six months, Natalie Sanchez said.

While Sofia has been undergoing treatment, Natalie Sanchez said her family has received "overwhelming" support. Neighbors collected nearly $5,000 at a fundraiser in July, and a GoFundMe page raised more than $40,000 to support the family as hospital bills continue piling up.

Sofia said she's thankful for all the people who have come together to help her and her family, adding that she plans to give back once she gets out of the hospital.

"It means a lot," Sofia said. "I have a lot of help here and support from everybody from Downers Grove."

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