Sophie won't let cancer block her dream

SHE is tackling the medical odds and winning but today inspirational teenager Sophie Ellis is taking on a new challenge.The 15-year-old was told more than a month ago she had just months to live but she has refused to give in and tonight is living her dream by taking to the stage and performing to an audience.

SHE is tackling the medical odds and winning but today inspirational teenager Sophie Ellis is taking on a new challenge.

The 15-year-old was told more than a month ago she had just months to live but she has refused to give in and tonight is living her dream by taking to the stage and performing to an audience.

The Stowmarket High School student was diagnosed with the asbestos-linked cancer, mesothelioma, two years ago and is thought to be the only British teenager to have developed the disease in her lung in the last 30 years.

She previously beat the odds by successfully battling the disease but last month doctors at Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge saw several spots on her lung, marking the cancer's return.


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But since then Sophie, of Straight Road, Battisford, has continued to rehearse for her part in 1066 - A Tale of Two Halves, and despite the grim prognosis remains hopeful she may turn out to be the 'miracle child' her friends call her.

Sophie, who has performed with Oskar Foxtrot Productions since the age of 13, said: “I'm very keen on drama - it gets my mind off things and is my escape route. I love it because I'm a completely different person when I'm performing

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“I am a bit nervous at the moment but I am also very excited.”

Sophie has performed in two previous productions with the company - Black Shuck in 2005 and The Brink last year.

She said she has so far played “bit parts” but is hoping to secure a leading role next year.

“If I didn't have acting I don't know what I would do,” she said.

“I have a lot of really close friends supporting me and it has been quite emotional because a number of them are leaving to go to university. They are like my second family.”

One of the biggest challenges for Sophie, who recently got the chance to see the new musical, Joseph, in London, is to sing a solo with just one lung, after one was removed in surgery.

But Sarah Corbett, the producer and musical director of the play, said: “She's determined to do it. She has an enormously positive attitude.

“She never lets it get her down. A lot of people would be attempting to take it easy but she wants to experience life to the full.”

Sophie will be performing in Oskar Foxtrot's production of 1066 - A Tale of Two Halves tonight at St Mary at Quay church, Key Street, Ipswich, tomorrow at the church common in Wenhaston and Thursday and Friday at the Museum of East Anglian Life in Stowmarket. All performances start at 7.30pm and cost £8 for adults and £5 for concessions. For more information call 01473 423606 or visit www.oskarfoxtrot.org.uk.

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