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MacDill voice is Nickelodeon cartoon character
A battle with cancer can't stop Sydney's dreams of becoming an actress or doctor

by 1st Lt. Erin Dorrance
6th Air Mobility Wing public affairs

Tech. Sgt. Kevin Sims, 6th Security Forces Squadron, Sydney, Drew and Michelle break up the monotony of hospital visits by going to a hockey game March 18.

The 8-year-old daughter of a MacDill security forces troop will be the voice of a cartoon character on Nickelodeon's My Life as a Teenage Robot program.

Sydney, daughter of Tech. Sgt. Kevin Sims, 6th Security Forces Squadron, was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer called Neuroblastoma Jan. 15. While on the Jane Pauley talk show Oct. 19 in New York City, her dream to be a cartoon voice came true.

"I thought it would be fun and I am really good at memorizing lines," said Sydney.

"The Jane Pauley show treated Sydney like a queen," said her father. "The day started with a stretch limo, fruit and cakes, hair and make-up, and we even got to stay in the Saturday Night Live dressing rooms."

The Jane Pauley show relied on actress Brooke Shields' involvement with the Ronald McDonald House organization.

"The Ronald MacDonald House makes our lives easier," said Sergeant Sims. "They provide our family a hotel room in the heart of Manhattan for $20, compared to prices of $200 and up."

The organization also plans dinners, bingo, movies and trips to the zoo for sick kids in order to break of the monotony of hospital trips, said Sergeant Sims.

Sydney, who day dreams of becoming an actress or a doctor, said the worst part about being sick is spending weeks at a time in the hospital, being away from home, the bruises and scars and not being able to go swimming or practice gymnastics.

Sydney currently is undergoing chemotherapy to fight stage IV, Neuroblastoma. Stage V being the most advanced, stage IV has a 20 to 30 percent survival rate for children Sydney's age. This type of cancer affects 400 to 600 children annually. It develops into a solid tumor and is very hard to detect. The Sims family started the treatment locally but had to go to a larger hospital that specializes in pediatric solid tumor removal.

Sydney, her dad, mom and 9-year-old brother Drew have traveled to and from Tampa to New York City several times since Sydney was diagnosed.

This trip to New York has been an especially long one for the Sims family, which left Aug. 18 and will return to Tampa sometime in late December. Sydney will then have to make trips up to New York for the next two years for treatments.

The Sims family wants to thank their family, friends, church, 1st Sergeant, Master Sgt. Robert Edgar; Tech. Sgt. Franco Fuda, the 6th SFS and the Base Chapel. If anyone would like to check on Sydney's progress or donate money, log onto http://www2.caringbridge.org/fl/sydneysims/.




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