Charlotte Fairall met with the top MP in Westminster in a determined effort to see what can be done to help tots fighting for life against rare cancers.
The Stubbington mum’s tête-à-tête with the Tory minister came in the wake of the tragic death of her daughter, Sophie, in September.
The youngster had been diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma in September of 2020 – a rare type of cancer that forms in children’s soft tissue like skeletal muscle.
Charlotte, who bravely spoke out following Sophie’s death, is now fighting for more cash to be pumped into researching childhood cancers – as well as attempting to fulfil a few final wishes made by her daughter to better the lives of children and their families in hospital.
Speaking on the Sophie’s Journey Facebook page, Charlotte said: ‘It's strange as I wasn't nervous or fazed by it at all, even when I met him.
‘I just had this inner strength from somewhere and thought I have a short amount of time to make the biggest impact and I need to do it.
‘Sophie was clearly with me, giving me every bit of strength I needed as I was so strong, didn't cry and got what I needed across.’
The meeting was organised by former health minister and Gosport MP, Caroline Dinenage.
During the 30-minute conversation, Charlotte spoke about the need for a new ‘awareness campaign’ highlighting childhood cancers.
She also highlighted the need to improve food for parents in hospital as they support their children during treatment.
Hopes too, to invest more in play specialists who can entertain children in hospital, were discussed - which was one of Sophie’s dreams.
Charlotte said she felt hopeful about the meeting and added: ‘I know change isn't going to happen overnight with the things we've asked but the fact we've managed to get to the health secretary level gives me hope that it could happen.’
Ms Dinenage added she was delighted to have played a part in helping to stage the meeting and said: ‘Sophie’s story is heartbreaking and has unveiled many improvements needed in the way we detect, treat and care for children with cancer.
‘I have pledged to do all I can to support Charlotte and push for the changes we want to see. I’ll be leading a debate in parliament on these issues in the New Year.’