Ipswich: Sophie is smiling through in battle against disease

IPSWICH: It has been a long road for inspirational teenager Sophie Brown.

But, after more than a year of chemotherapy, she is an example of how a little determination goes a very long way.

Sophie, of Roundwood Road, Ipswich, was diagnosed with leukaemia in November 2009 aged just 16, but despite more than 12 months 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, meaning that her chemotherapy is less intense.

The illness caused her to miss months of school, suffer from severe fatigue, appetite loss and hair loss – but the bright young star overcame the odds to achieve sparkling GCSE results.

Last year, she achieved one A*, four As, three Bs and one C at GCSE.

Her friends at St Albans High School supported her throughout her battle and two of them even shaved their heads for charity.

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And as she gears up for her AS-level exams, Sophie told the Evening Star she was pleased to be growing stronger mentally and physically.

“I’m quite nervous for my exams, but I’m hoping for the best,” she said.

“I am so happy to just have my strength back, I feel stronger and I feel healthy and I’m so pleased about that.

“I feel like I’m actually able to do things now and I feel like I have even strength to be a normal teenager.

“Having always loved sports, I was so weak when I first began chemotherapy and I wasn’t able to do anything. Now I do anything I want and I don’t have to worry about having a ‘good day’.”

Embracing life head on, Sophie is also learning to drive and has already passed her theory test.

She will be applying later this year for a place to study law at Cambridge University.

She will remain in drug-induced remission until February, and until then she will take pills and have injections instead of full-on chemotherapy.

The teenager added: “I wouldn’t change having cancer, I have learnt so much through it.

“I have learnt that I can get through anything.”

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