INDIANAP — Hope Tomamichel is just 13 years old; much too young to have to face off with cancer. But the teenager is fighting the battle.
Five months ago, she was diagnosed with a rare but aggressive soft tissue cancer — neurofibromatosis with a malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumor.
"I had a bump in my stomach and I didn't think much of it," Tomamichel said.
She spent weeks in the hospital undergoing radiation and chemotherapy. Now back home, she tries to lead a normal life.
"Watching anime, reading Harry Potter, watching Harry Potter. Watching movies, TV shows. Watching TikTok obviously," Tomamichel said.
But what she has started since getting back home is certainly not typical. Hope has started her own business making and selling bead bracelets.
It started small but has since surprised her and her family. They've received dozens of orders, some from as far as Texas.
"I never thought it would go as far as it did. When it first started I thought it would just be something that was a little hobby for her," said Ashley Ogden, Hope’s mom.
Now Hope is spending her free time filling orders. But she wants to use the money she makes to give back. With her most recent sales, she bought a collection of movies and toys to donate to Riley Hospital for Children.
"Because whenever I stay the night, I like to watch movies there and the options aren't really the best," Tomamichel said.
But the job and hobby is also comforting.
"It keeps my mind off things and doesn't make me feel sad. Plus, I think it could inspire other kids that have cancer or are sick to not be sad all the time or to try to find something that helps them," she said.
Hope sells the bracelets for $10 each. You can order them by clicking here.