A 10-year-old cancer patient, Sophie Fairall, who has touched many lives with her determination to raise awareness of childhood cancer, sadly died earlier this month.
On the 18th September, was taken by an extremely rare and aggressive form of cancer, known as Anaplastic Rhabdomyosarcoma.
This type of cancer accounts for 3% of childhood cancer cases each year. Sadly, survival rates for Sarcomas remain very low and on relapse, there is only an 8-20% chance of survival due to the lack of research or treatments available.
It was only in September 2020 when Sophie had just turned 9, that she was diagnosed after complaining of tummy ache a few months prior.
Sophie had a major operation soon after to try and remove the 12cm tumour in her abdomen, which was deemed successful at the time.
But due to there being cells remaining, this brave little girl, who should have been enjoying going back to school and playing with her friends, had to endure very aggressive and intense chemotherapy for 9 months.
Some of the treatment Sophie was given was created in 1960’s with no newer treatments available, she took it all in her stride, never giving up and always wanting to help other children like her.
The treatment looked like it was working until June 2021, when during a routine MRI scan the families’ world came crashing down as the cancer was growing again in her abdomen.
It was then that Sophie and her family began compiling a bucket list, she caught the eye of TV stars Ant and Dec, who sent messages of love to her along with footballers Jack Grealish and Mason Mount, who made her day with their personal videos to her.
The treatment was extremely painful and hard going on Sophie’s little body but she still managed to raise an incredible £54,000 for Alice’s Ark charity, which was set up to try and improve the research that goes into childhood cancer.
Sophie’s mother, charlotte has since set up a petition to make change in Sophie’s memory. With over 13,000 signatures, Charlotte and her family argue that ‘We need more than 3% of funding to go towards research and curing childhood cancer’
The statistics of childhood cancer are “shocking” says Charlotte “no mother should have to witness their child enduring the most horrific pain caused by cancer“
“there is not enough research, only 3-4% of government cancer research funding in the UK is fully dedicated to childhood cancer.
“Alice’s Ark’s aim is to find kinder treatments for children with better outcomes.”
“Children like Sophie deserve so much more, more research, more funding and kinder treatments.”
“As a family we want Sophie’s legacy to be changes in medical advances for children with cancer.”
Sophie’s mother Charlotte thanked well-wishers for their “incredible support” during her gruelling illness but says we now need to continue Sophie’s Legacy by making change, as Sophie wanted.
“Who would’ve thought a 10-year-old could have such a huge impact on so many people.
“It feels so surreal and although I knew she was dying I still can’t believe she’s gone. Sophie had so much more to give and it shouldn’t have been this way.
Adding “She was the most beautiful, funny, caring, strongest girl ever. She would light up a room wherever she went.”
“Sophie’s legacy will be one dedicated to the cause for real and impactful change in outcomes for children with cancer.”
Just like Sophie had told her mother she wanted, including better food as she most definitely wasn’t a fan.
Wear gold for Childhood Cancer Awareness month.