It has been a difficult year for a young lady in Carmel.  Her older brother was diagnosed with brain cancer, her grandfather passed away, she herself has been suffering from kidney stones and she witnessed her neighbor's house burned down.

Despite all of these misfortunes, 9-year-old Isabel Trogdon, continues to persevere.  She decided to perform at her school's talent show in Carmel by dancing.  Prior to starting her dance, she gives a speech that gives you perspective into the hardships that life may throw at you but, she explains, you must find your strength and look at the bright side when life may seem momentarily dark.

"Hello.  My name is Isabel Trogdon.  This past year has been really tough for me and my family.  My big brother has brain cancer, I've had kidney stones, my grandfather passed away and I saw my neighbor's house burn down in the night.

It is important to always stay positive and look for the happiness everyday.  Smile every chance you can and dance while you fight through the tough stuff.  Thank you."

For real, I thought I could get through this without crying at my desk. I did not. You will need a tissue.

Isabel's mother, Nicole, told us a little more about her daughter's story. Isabel's 16-year-old brother has been battling brain cancer for the past year and a half. "It has been a very difficult journey for our family," Nicole explains. "Our kids are very close and Isabel tries to help when she can. It’s been so hard for her to see her brother be sick but she’s always there to tell jokes with him."

Last year it took several months and tests for doctors to conclude that Isabel's pain and discomfort she had been experiencing was kidney stones. Nicole says Isabel is doing great now, however.

Then, later during the holidays and a few days after Isabel's 9th birthday, her grandfather passed away.

January brought a scary night for Isabel and her sibling's when they watched their neighbor's house became fully engulfed during the night and burn to the ground.

Such a series of events would bring anybody down, but Nicole has tried to direct her children to stay positive:

"My husband and I try to teach our children to not let difficult times bog you down. Isabel is a shining star when it comes to spreading positivity and joy. She’s fun, silly, smart, and beyond brave. Her wish is for everyone to find happiness and smile even when times are very difficult!

Isabel, I think you are our happiness that we found today.  Keep smiling, kiddo!

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