SMILING to the camera, Sophie Wearn looks like any other teenager.
But when she was 10, the youngster was diagnosed with a rare type of bone cancer.
Sophie, of Dumas Drive, Whiteley, is sharing her story on International Childhood Cancer Day.
She said: ‘When I was diagnosed it upset me and I couldn’t even talk.
‘But then you get used to it and the word “cancer”.
‘I wanted to be as normal as possible and just get on with as much as I could.’
As previously reported, Sophie, who goes to Crofton School, in Stubbington, was diagnosed with osteosarcoma in her leg, in Queen Alexandra Hospital, in 2008.
The condition is a rare cancerous malignant bone tumour, which usually develops during growth spurts in adolescence.
Sophie was originally diagnosed with ligament damage by her GP, but as she was in a lot of pain, her mum Sarah Taylor pushed for a further diagnosis.
For five years Sophie received treatment and had surgery to remove the tumour.
Chemotherapy caused her to lose her hair and at one point surgeons thought they might need to amputate her leg.
‘When I was told I could lose my leg, that upset me,’ said Sophie.
‘I was relieved when I woke up from surgery and still had my legs.
‘Losing my hair didn’t bother me so much.
‘I do feel sad thinking about those who didn’t make it.’
Sophie has been in remission for 10 months now and thanks staff at QA for all the help they gave to her and her family.
Marie-Louise Millard, is a consultant paediatrician at QA, and said they have around 20 cases of childhood cancer a year.
She said: ‘Hearing a child has cancer is one of the worst pieces of news that you can give a family.
‘Because of germs present in the foetus, children often develop cancer in the liver, kidney, eyes or leukaemia.
‘You don’t have lung or breast cancer in childhood.
‘Thankfully there have been great developments in diagnosis and treatment. About 80 per cent of leukaemia cases can be treated.
‘I’ve seen massive changes happen during my career.’