Eaton Rapids girl named Sparrow’s 2021 Miracle Child

Four-year-old has beaten cancer twice

Published: Monday, February 15, 2021

LANSING, MI – A four-year-old Eaton Rapids girl who has fought and beat cancer twice in her young life is nothing short of a miracle and so it makes sense that she is Sparrow’s Miracle Child for 2021.

Delilah Steiner-Zehender will be the face of the Sparrow Children’s Center – the region’s only Children’s Miracle Network Hospital – for the next year, raising awareness about the miracles that happen everyday at Sparrow. Her story is a wonderful reflection of the life-saving work at the Children’s Center and the importance of continued community support for our youngest patients.

Delilah was first diagnosed with neuroblastoma when she was four months old and underwent three rounds of chemotherapy. The disease was diagnosed again in January 2019. This time it was much more extensive, said her mother, Leni Steiner-Zehender, and she underwent surgery and five rounds of chemo to remove the tumor and her adrenal gland.

Leni Steiner-Zehender described the journey as “very humbling, stressful, joyful at times, devastating at times. A whole range of emotions went with it.”

Besides her mother, Delilah’s family includes father Todd and brother, Augustus, 12.

Delilah Steiner-Zehender
Delilah Steiner-Zehender II

Her mother said the family is “honored and excited” by Delilah’s Miracle Child designation and has no doubt she deserves it. “She has fought and beaten neuroblastoma twice in four years and she’s done it with great tenacity.”

Delilah succeeds young Brenden Scott, the Mason-area boy who recovered at Sparrow from catastrophic injuries suffered when he was hit by a car. Brenden served as the Miracle Child for 2020.

Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals® raises funds and awareness for 170 member hospitals that provide 32 million treatments each year to kids across the U.S. and Canada. Donations stay local to fund critical treatments and healthcare services, pediatric medical equipment and charitable care.

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Sparrow is Mid-Michigan’s premier healthcare organization and includes hospitals in Lansing, Carson City, Charlotte, Ionia and St. Johns, as well as Physicians Health Plan, Sparrow Care Network, Sparrow Medical Group, the Michigan Athletic Club, and AL!VE. Sparrow is affiliated with Michigan Medicine through the Sparrow Children’s Center and with Michigan State University’s three human health colleges. Through these partnerships and the dedication of our 10,000 Caregivers, Sparrow pursues a vision to be nationally recognized as a leader in quality and Patient experience. For more information, visit