OPINION: The little girl with contagious spirit

THIS week I felt like I got pretty lucky.

Nothing quite remarkable happened in my life but I had the opportunity to meet someone pretty remarkable that had quite the impact on me.

It may sound cliched but I promise you it’s anything but.

Her name’s Sophie. She’s six years old.

She’s cheeky with an energy that just fills you with joy – the kind of energy that makes you want to do more and be better.

At age three, this little girl with the spirit that could move mountains was diagnosed with stage 4 Neuroblastoma.

After 10 cycles of chemotherapy, 12 rounds of radiotherapy and countless other procedures over an 18-month period, Sophie’s unshakeable spirit rose above her fateful diagnosis.

She beat something that I could never imagine coming up against.

Her parents spent more than 18 months living separate lives.

Her big brother Will still had to attend school, and dad Simon still had to work to keep the bills ticking over.

All the while, mum Kimberley and Sophie embarked on their own journey of life, confined by hospital walls.

But when you meet this family, it’s a journey you’d probably never guess they had embarked on.

Optimistic and full of gratitude are just some of words I could use to describe them, after spending less than an hour hearing their powerful story.

Their positivity made you question how you could ever be anything but positive.

While they’ve hit the two-year mark since treatment ended and are two years into Sophie’s remission, there are a lot of question marks remaining on their future.

Sophie still sits in the 50% survival bracket with a 40% chance of relapse.

So while there’s still a long road to travel, her parents have become determined to invest their energy into something they can count on.

They’ve become vocal supporters of the Kids’ Cancer Project that is championing research into childhood cancers.

It’s so worthwhile. And I’m there with them. It’s time.

This post was originally published by the Sunshine Coast Daily.

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