Family of 9-year-old with rare cancer are 'blown away' as £13,000 is donated in just 6 days

BRAVE nine-year-old Sophie Fairall allowed herself to shed just a few tears when she was told she has a rare form of cancer.

Saturday, 19th September 2020, 7:00 am
Updated Saturday, 19th September 2020, 9:26 am
A fundraiser has been set up for Sophie Fairall, 9, who has been diagnosed with a rare soft tissue cancer. Pictured: Sophie in hospital

But an outpouring of support has left her family ‘blown away’ with members of the community rallying round her to raise more than £13,000 in less than a week.

Struggling with stomach pains for more than six months, Sophie worsened and her parents rushed her to A&E at Queen Alexandra Hospital from her Stubbington home on the afternoon of September 4.

Previously medics had thought Sophie, a Crofton Anne Dale Junior School pupil, was suffering with a food intolerance or IBS, but found a tumour.

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A fundraiser has been set up for Sophie Fairall, 9, who has been diagnosed with a rare soft tissue cancer. Pictured: Sophie with her dad Gareth, mum Charlotte and sisters Lucy, 13, and Amelia, 8

Surgeons at University Hospital Southampton then operated for seven hours last Thursday, September 10, and removed 95 per cent of the tumour attached to Sophie’s insides.

Mum Charlotte and dad Gareth were told a biopsy result on Wednesday revealed Sophie has a high-grade stage three or possibly stage four undifferentiated sarcoma. Experts have said Sophie is thought to be the fourth person in Britain to have this disease.

Brave Sophie, who is staying strong thanks to the outpouring of kindness from the community having just returned home from hospital in Southampton, said: ‘When my mum told me I had cancer I was okay about it since I knew something was wrong but I did have a cry moment.

‘Now I feel happier as I have actually seen the ward that I will be staying on, it is really nice and you can make slime which mummy doesn't like and also I got wigs for my teddies.’

A fundraiser has been set up for Sophie Fairall, 9, who has been diagnosed with a rare soft tissue cancer. Pictured: Sophie Fairall

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More than £13,000 has been donated to an online fundraiser in just five days, along with kind offers to donate Lego, toys, and even a laptop for homeschooling.

Huge Portsmouth FC fan Sophie, a season ticket holder who loves going to matches with her dad and grandad, added: ‘All the money if you add it all together to the gifts and everything will be like six gazillion pounds, it’s bonkers.’

Mum Charlotte, a qualified social worker, has been running a Facebook blog to give updates on Sophie’s condition, and has been ‘overwhelmed’ with the support for Sophie, along with dad Gareth, an IT worker, and sisters Lucy, 13, and eight-year-old Amelia.

A fundraiser has been set up for Sophie Fairall, 9, who has been diagnosed with a rare soft tissue cancer. Pictured: Sophie with her sisters Lucy, 13 and Amelia, 8

Charlotte said: ‘We've been overwhelmed by the messages, offers of gifts and donations to the Just Giving page. It has blown us away.

‘Having the support of family, friends, the community and strangers gives us the strength that we can get through this.’

Sister Lucy appeared in The News in 2017 after raising thousands for Cancer Research UK in memory of Claire Sloane, the mum of her best friend Katie.

Aunt Natalie Mansbridge and relative Victoria Rampton rallied round to set up a fundraising page aiming to help the family.

Cash raised will be save for treatments Sophie might need and for donations to Sarcoma UK if there is anything left over.

Natalie said: ‘She’s the strongest out of all of us, she’s just doing amazing.

‘I felt so hopeless that I can’t visit her, I’m not medically trained and this is the only thing I can do to help.

‘It’s just overwhelming. It’s just absolutely amazing how in this world where you think people just want to look after themselves, they have suddenly all come out with such generosity and kind words and prayers, it’s helping us all.’

Visit justgiving.com/crowdfunding/sophieiskickincancer to donate and follow Sophie’s Journey on Facebook for updates on how she is getting on.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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