DENVER, Colo., Aug. 8, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Monica May of St. Louis, Mo., is the proud grandmother of a beautiful little girl who is battling Neuroblastoma, a childhood cancer. Sophie May's bubbly 21-month-old innocence and her touching story just won the family $10,000 in the RE/MAX "What Moves You?" contest. The cash prize will certainly help ease the burden of mounting medical costs.
May's story, "Sweet Sophie May," was one of more than 1,200 stories entered throughout the eight-week contest and one of the Top 10 most popular to make the final grand-prize voting week. "Sweet Sophie May" closed the contest at midnight on Aug. 2 with 10,050 votes, narrowly beating out another touching story from a New York resident also battling cancer.
"This means the absolute world to us; I think I just lost my stomach," May said when she was notified that she'd won. May lives in St. Louis but often travels to Texas to visit and care for Sophie during her treatments. "Sophie is such a beautiful, happy and strong little girl, and even through this story she has affected so many people in such a positive way."
Sophie was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma in June of this year and is being treated at Children's Medical Center, a Children's Miracle Network Hospital, in Dallas. Like other playful toddlers, Sophie loves to swim, play and make new friends during treatments. She recently completed her second round of chemotherapy, but will face many more to aggressively treat the baseball-size tumor in her abdomen.
"It makes me feel so blessed to know so many people care about my daughter, especially people that have never met her," Sophie's father, Nathan Sewell, posted on Facebook during the contest. "This is more important to us than any amount of money we could receive. The support from everyone has been amazing. We will be telling Sophie about this for 60-plus years!"
The RE/MAX "What Moves You?" contest was launched on May 29 as part of the 2012 RE/MAX national ad campaign, "For All the Things That Move You." Consumers were encouraged to submit stories, photos and videos of what moves them to whatmovesyou.remax.com. Voters chose their favorite stories and weekly winners were given a $750 Apple gift card.
The response was overwhelming as stories ranged from funny and entertaining to heartfelt. Throughout the nine weeks, more than 1,200 stories were entered, nearly 70,000 votes logged and more than 140,000 visitors hit the "What Moves You?" site on remax.com.
"RE/MAX is focused on the pivotal life moments that move people," said Mike Ryan, RE/MAX Executive Vice President, Global Communications and Branding. "When we asked the question via social media, we knew we'd get a response but we weren't prepared for the emotional and heartfelt stories we received."
Among the other grand-prize finalists were stories of hope and inspiration about living with autism, overcoming economic hardship, achieving homeownership, family ties that bind and surviving cancer.
For information about the grand-prize winner, previous weekly winners and the "What Moves You?" contest, visit whatmovesyou.remax.com. Additional details about the "What Moves You" contest and its winners can be found on the RE /MAX Facebook page: http://on.fb.me/JUWfRi
About the RE/MAX Network
RE/MAX was founded in 1973 by Dave and Gail Liniger, real estate industry visionaries who still lead the Denver-based global franchisor today. RE/MAX is recognized as one of the leading real estate franchise companies with the most productive sales force in the industry and a global reach of more than 80 countries. Nobody in the world sells more real estate than RE/MAX.
With a passion for the communities in which its agents live and work, RE/MAX is proud to have raised more than $120 million for Children's Miracle Network Hospitals, Susan G. Komen for the Cure® and other charities.