Little Sophie Miller is battling leukaemia – but it hasn’t stopped her raising cash to help others fight the disease. Despite losing her hair and feeling ill from gruelling chemotherapy, the brave nine-year-old has collected more than £3,000 through sponsored bike rides and charity walks.
Sophie was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia, a cancer of the blood cells, in 2021. This progresses rapidly and is often fatal within weeks or months if left untreated.
Mum Tanya – who also has six-year-old twins Phoebe and Chloe – said: “Sophie was literally showing no symptoms. She ran past me in the kitchen one afternoon and I felt a rush of heat. I felt her forehead and she had a sky-high temperature.
“I gave her some Calpol but it kept happening over the next five days. We were meant to be going away on holiday a few days later, so I thought I’d better take her to see the doctor before we went.”
But after tests on Sophie’s bone marrow, the diagnosis came as a massive blow to Tanya and husband Daniel.
The mum, from Cornwall, said: “I was in a complete daze. I thought I hadn’t heard the doctor properly. We had never expected anything like that. She hadn’t even complained of feeling unwell even with a high temperature.”
After starting chemotherapy treatment, Sophie was left exhausted and lost her hair.
She was given a wig to wear from the Little Princess Trust, and it became her main focus to collect money for the Children’s Cancer and Leukaemia Group charity to help others.
Tanya said: “From the moment she started treatment, all she wanted to do was fundraise to help others. She’s never been one to sit and feel sorry for herself. Losing her hair was awful for her, but she has been so brave about it.”
Her sisters had to do the first challenge without her as she underwent intensive treatment.
Tanya added: “She was devastated she couldn’t join in – she had to watch as they did a 10k sponsored walk. She was determined to join in the next one. And as soon as she felt a little stronger she started her own fundraising.
“She walks and she cycles and she loves doing it. Her latest challenge was to run 33 miles in February.
“She was suffering from sickness, which was a side effect of the chemotherapy, but managed to do it.”
The proud mum added: “She has been so selfless about wanting to help others. She has suffered a lot with sickness and she hasn’t let that stop her – she’s a proper little hero.”
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