Campaign to send ‘bravest little person’ to zoo after cancer diagnosis
- Credit: Archant
The family of a brave six-year-old diagnosed with an aggressive cancer say they feel positive about her fight, as friends fundraise to send her on a dream trip to her favourite zoo.
Sofia Honey Adcock, who is a pupil at Costessey Primary School, was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia in February.
And school staff members Kristina Harris and Emma Waller have joined forces to walk 33 miles for the six-year-old, who they described as the “bravest little person they know” to pay for the family to stay at Port Lympne safari, near Folkestone, which has been visited by her TV heroes Billie and Sam Faiers.
Following her diagnosis, Sofia Honey was taken to Addenbrooke’s Hospital, in Cambridge, to treat the cancer and within the first day had a bone marrow aspiration and lumbar puncture.
She has spent numerous days in hospital, including a visit lasting 32 days, and has undergone chemotherapy.
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This week, the keen dancer has entered the maintenance phase, which will see her treatment become less intense, including lumbar punctures every three months instead of each month.
It is all part of the ongoing countdown to June 16, 2022, when Sofia Honey hopes to ring the bell to mark the end of her treatment.
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Mum Sammy, who works at the school, said she has been amazed at the support from the school for their family, which includes dad Adam and siblings Alexi, 12, and 10-year-old Kelsi.
Mrs Adcock said: “It was just so sudden. She had a fever for five days, she came into school the Monday to Wednesday and she was really not great and she had the day off and we took her for an appointment. By 8pm we knew. It was so weird, there was no indication what it was but I just had some feeling.
“It’s just unbelievable what she has gone through. She has been such a trooper, she hates missing school.”
The family, who live in Costessey, said the visit would give the six-year-old something to focus on while she recovered.
Mrs Adcock, 32, said: “She loves Sam and Billie Faiers, if she was ever in hospital we couldn’t watch their programme, we had to wait until she was back. “We just want her to have something to focus on. She never complains and my other two girls are so good.”
The family recently celebrated the end of Sofia Honey’s frontline treatment, but due to the rule of six could only have one additional family member visit at a time due to being a household of five.
However, Paul Knightley - Sam Faiers’ partner - reached out on Instagram to purchase the Costessey pupil a sparkling crown, which reads ‘brave’, to wear to the party.
The impact of lockdown was tough on the family, said Mrs Adcock, as they could not be near loved ones while shielding.
During that time, family and friends would deliver food parcels or bring a chair and sit more than two metres away to speak to the family who stood in the doorway.
Mrs Adcock said: “You cannot even put it into words what it means, it’s a bit of a car crash moment. You are in fight or flight mode, one moment you have three perfectly healthy children and then you are rushed to Addenbrooke’s and told your child has cancer. You are on autopilot as you never know what is going to happen.”
She said the risk of infection was a significant fear, with Sofia Honey contracting sepsis and rhinovirus on a number of occasions.
Mrs Adcock said: “I couldn’t lose my baby. That’s all you are worried about and I would cry myself to sleep. I know she is in hospital with an infection and that’s all I could think about.
“We’re at a massive point in her treatment and the prognosis is looking good. She’s going to smash it and she’s going to beat this.
“It’s looking really good. When she was diagnosed the prognosis was good.”
Miss Harris and Mrs Waller will take on the challenge on November 21, walking the 26 miles of Marriotts Way, as well as the Salle cycle loop.
The pair will set off at 5am and hope people can join them along the way. They have raised just over £200 of their £500 target.
Mrs Waller said: “She is so brave. She always has a smile on her face.”
The pair will set off at 5am on November 21 and say anyone is welcome to join them along the route.
To donate to the fundraiser click here.