The youngster died from a rare form of tissue cancer and since her death, her mother, Charlotte, has been campaigning for improvements in how we detect, treat and care for children with childhood cancer.
Charlotte has been to Westminster to meet and lobby the minister for patient safety and primary care, Maria Caulfield, and Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage, following a recent debate on the matter in the House of Commons.
But who was Sophie Fairall and was she from Hampshire?
Here's everything you need to know:
Who was Sophie Fairall?
Sophie Fairall raised thousands for charity in the year after she was diagnosed with cancer in September 2020.
The young girl created a bucket list to improve the experiences of children and their families who find themselves in a similar position.
Sophie's bucket list included working a day in a shop and cooking with famous TV chef Gordon Ramsay - in a move that touched the hearts of the nation.
Her story of courage even reached the camp of England football heroes Jack Grealish and Portsmouth’s own Mason Mount - who both took time out of World Cup training to send her messages of encouragement.
How old was Sophie?
Sophie was 10 years old when she died.
Was she from Hampshire?
Sophie lived in Stubbington, Hampshire.
When the inspirational youngster passed away, the streets of Stubbington were filled with gold ribbons – the internationally-recognised symbol for childhood cancer – and yellow and gold balloons were released into the sky.
What is Rhabdomyosarcoma?
Rhabdomyosarcoma is a rare type of cancer that forms in soft tissue, specifically skeletal muscle tissue or sometimes hollow organs such as the bladder or uterus.
This form of cancer can occur at any age, but it mostly affects children.
The Fairall family decided to draw up a bucket list for Sophie in June 2021 when her cancer returned and she decided to not have further chemotherapy.
When did Sophie pass away?
Sophie died on Saturday, September 18, 2021.
Announcing her daughter’s death via social media, devastated mum Charlotte said: ‘I'm absolutely heartbroken, pain I can't even describe, all I can say is it's the most painful thing I've ever experienced. Part of me died today and I will never be the same again.
‘Sophie had so much more to give and it shouldn't have been this way. She was the most beautiful, funny, caring, strongest girl ever.
‘She would light up a room wherever she went. She made an impression on people with her smile and personality and even if it was an hour you ever spent with her she would leave an impression.’
What is Sophie’s Legacy?
Since Sophie's passing, the Fairall family has raised more than £80,000 for children's charity, Alice's Arc.
The charity was set up to improve research and funding into rhabdomyosarcoma, with an aim to find kinder treatments for children with better outcomes.
To donate to the fundraising campaign, see justgiving.com/fundraising/charlotte-fairall5
Alongside the fundraising, Sophie’s legacy is set to be cemented in the history books as Charlotte, along with their MP Caroline Dinenage, secured the first-ever parliamentary debate on the topic of childhood cancer to be heard in the House of Commons in April 2022 after they managed to get the backing of 18 MPs.
Sophie’s Legacy has five key elements to create change on how we prevent, diagnose, treat and care for, children's cancer.
The legacy includes:
- Play specialist 7 days a week in hospitals
- Improvements to food for children in hospital
- For parents to be fed when staying with their child
- For GP's, nurses and health professionals to be trained in childhood cancer
-To increase the funds (currently 3%) in childhood cancer research.
To find out more about Sophie’s Legacy, see here.