Sophie faces new battle

AN INSPIRATIONAL teenager battling cancer has today vowed to look forward to life and pursue her dream of becoming an actress.Sophie Ellis is just 16 but since being diagnosed with a very rare form of cancer three years ago, she has shown courage and maturity beyond her years.

AN INSPIRATIONAL teenager battling cancer has today vowed to look forward to life and pursue her dream of becoming an actress.

Sophie Ellis is just 16 but since being diagnosed with a very rare form of cancer three years ago, she has shown courage and maturity beyond her years.

Despite doctors giving her just months to live, she has defied all expectations and is living life to the full.

As a keen member of a Suffolk-based theatre group, Oskar Foxtrot Productions, Sophie, of Straight Road, Battisford, decided to raise some money to enable them to perform their latest play at the Regal Theatre in Stowmarket.

By being sponsored to organise her own a film-making event, which involved her writing, directing and putting together a film in two weeks, she raised £292, which has been put towards the tour fund.

She said: “I wanted to do something different for a fundraising event so I decided to write the script, cost it, find a location, act in it and edit it all within two weeks. I don't know why I volunteered to do that because it I was supposed to be concentrating on my exams but I knew the group wanted to perform in this venue but didn't have the money for it.

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“We have worked so hard on the production and now we will be able to perform it at the Regal Theatre for two nights.”

The Stowmarket High School student was diagnosed with the asbestos-linked cancer mesolthelioma, and was believed to be the only British teenager to have developed the illness in 30 years.

Although she was having radiotherapy treatment, it was making her ill so she gave it up to concentrate on her exams. Next year she plans to go to the Colchester Institute to do a music course.

She said: “There is no point moping around about it. I have baffled doctors so many times and I know I will prove them wrong again. They had never heard of my case before so because it is so rare, they sometimes get things wrong.

“I have started a whole new life. I have been going to a lot more auditions for acting jobs. In some ways I have left the cancer behind but not forgotten it.”

Sarah Corbett, musical director of Oskar Foxtrot Productions, said: “The last few weeks have been a trying time for her with hospital treatments, GCSE exams and of course our rehearsals. I think her courage in arranging this event on top of everything else is extraordinary.”

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Sophie is set to play a key role the group's new musical 'Dunwich - A Ghost Story', which will be performed at various locations across the county.

For details on the tour dates and prices, visit www.oskarfoxtrot.org.uk