Ipswich: Brave Sophie has fought leukaemia with a smile

IPSWICH: After more than a year of chemotherapy, inspirational teenager Sophie Brown is an example of how a little determination goes a long way.

Sophie, 16, was diagnosed with leukaemia in November 2009, but despite more than a year of gruelling treatment, she has come through it all smiling and is winning her battle against the disease.

The beaming teenager, who previously attended St Alban’s Catholic High School but is now studying for her A-levels at St Joseph’s College, is currently in drug-induced remission.

She told the Evening Star that she had found the past year “emotional” but wouldn’t have changed anything.

“I finished my intense treatment in July, so that was a very big step,” she said. “Then getting my exam results in August proved that you really can do anything with a little determination.

“It has been a very emotional time, from the day I was diagnosed through all of the treatment to now.

“I have moved on from St Alban’s and I’m now at St Joseph’s which is amazing.

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“I just felt that I needed a fresh start. I loved St Alban’s, but you can’t change the way that people look at you, and I knew that people saw me as ‘Sophie who is fighting cancer’ and I wanted people to see me for who I am without treatment.”

While undergoing intense treatment at both Addenbrooke’s and Ipswich Hospital, the brave teen was forced to miss months of school.

While she still has more than a year of treatment to come, she told the Star that she was happy to announce that the cancer had gone.

The talented teenager, who hopes to go on to study Law at Cambridge University, also said that she was delighted that her hair had begun growing back.

She added: “I am so happy that I have it back, because now I can walk down the street without people starring at me and watching me.

“While I was having the intense treatment, I couldn’t understand life without leukaemia.

“I felt like I was in a cocoon just involved going to the hospital and having treatment. In a way, I was scared to end it all.

“It has been really tough, especially studying while going through it all – but I deal with it all through laughing because if I didn’t laugh then I would cry.

“I wouldn’t change having cancer.

“I actually feel lucky because there are babies with cancer and while being 16 is still young – I can at least cope with it more than they are able too.

“I wouldn’t change it because I have learnt so much through it. I’m a stronger person because of it all.”

n Have you got an inspiration story to tell? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or you can send an e-mail to eveningstarletters@evening star.co.uk