At the age of three Sophie was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma, a cancer that develops in the nerve cells and affects children under the age of five with only a 50 percent survival rate.
"I was in shock, I knew nothing about childhood cancers. When the doctor told me she had Stage 4 cancer I was like, 'That's good, right?"…the poor doctor didn't know what to say and he just sat there staring at me and said, "There are no stages left. We need to act now!" Sophie's mum Kimberly says.
In May 2014, Sophie contracted a urinary infection but the GP told Kimberley that Sophie would be fine but she had a feeling something was very wrong when both of Sophie's feet started turning in as she walked and was in a lot of pain.
"It was a nightmare. It only took a week from her feet turning inwards until she couldn't walk at all. We took her to the hospital for further tests and that's when we received the cancer diagnosis."
The nightmare continued as Sophie endured six cycles of chemotherapy and underwent a major operation to remove multiple tumours as well as her left kidney, but doctors then found her bone marrow was also riddled with cancer.
To attack the remaining cancer, Sophie was sent to the PA Radiation Oncology Centre for treatment.Sophie was one of the first children to have radiation treatment at the centre, which also continues to treat many adults every day. She had to lie in the radiation room all by herself in the presence of big machines she wasn't used to without her mum and dad who could not go in with her. Sophie always put on a brave face.
"Often after they let me in I could see she'd been crying. But it wasn't obvious to the nurses. She was so brave. She didn't shout out, she just lay there and sung 'Let it Go', and the staff would also join in and sing along which was wonderful.
"After months of treatments and many stays in hospital Sophie is now on the road to recovery and back running around with her big brother having a great time. If it wasn't for the amazing PA doctors and research team we would be living a completely different life, one I don't want to think about."
Please donate to the PA Research Foundation and help to ease the fear and isolation children face as they undergo radiation therapy for deadly cancers.