Classmates back brave Sophie

INSPIRATIONAL Sophie Stanford has gone through more as a 13-year-old than most people will face in a lifetime.The brave teen was diagnosed with cancer after she discovered a lump on her inner arm last New Year's Eve, which doctors identified as a soft tissue tumour.

INSPIRATIONAL Sophie Stanford has gone through more as a 13-year-old than most people will face in a lifetime.

The brave teen was diagnosed with cancer after she discovered a lump on her inner arm last New Year's Eve, which doctors identified as a soft tissue tumour.

In the four months since, the popular Kesgrave High School student has undergone chemotherapy, suffered rapid weight loss and been forced to spend weeks consigned to a hospital bed.

But today, battling Sophie is gradually overcoming the affliction - and her classmates are right behind her.


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As part of a project, year eight geography pupils made and sold various products and opted to donate all the proceeds, which ran to £146.67, to CLIC Sargent, the children's cancer charity which has supported Sophie and her family.

Sophie's mother, Debbie, thanked the students, and paid tribute to her daughter's determination to overcome the illness.

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Mrs Stanford, of Peacock Street, Grange Farm, said: “Sophie has been amazing, she's been brilliant.

“When she got the diagnosis, the doctors told her she could lose her hair. But she just wiped away a tear and then got on with it.

“It's absolutely amazing how she has coped with all of this.

“It's been a difficult time for the whole family but it has really made us appreciate what we have.”

Mrs Stanford also heaped praise on CLIC Sargent.

She said: “When Sophie was diagnosed, CLIC Sargent sent people into the school to talk to pupils. They went in and talked to the year group and prepared them for when Sophie returned.

“We were worried about bullying but the children have been brilliant - they have really listened to what the CLIC Sargent nurses have told them.

“The chemotherapy has affected her whole body, it's been horrible. She has lost a lot of weight and she needs to use a wheelchair because she is quite weak. But if she's in any discomfort, CLIC Sargent has so many ideas on how to help her.”

Sophie, who has been receiving home tutoring, has completed a course of chemotherapy and is about to start radiotherapy.

Although her treatment is still in its early stages, the initial signs are positive.

Zoe Sanderson, geography teacher at Kesgrave High School, said Sophie's peers had been very supportive.

“Sophie comes in a couple of times a month and they sit with her outside,” she said.

“She's handled her illness really well, she's been very brave. She's always got a smile on her face even though you can tell she's down in the dumps.”

Have you got a story of inspiration? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

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