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Meet Sophie Taylor: the four-year-old sticking her tongue out at her cancer diagnosis

PUBLISHED: 08:44 27 January 2018 | UPDATED: 16:27 27 January 2018

Sophie Taylor has been diagnosed with osteosarcoma. Picture: Taylor family

Sophie Taylor has been diagnosed with osteosarcoma. Picture: Taylor family

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Sophie Taylor is a fighter.

Sophie Taylor, far right, with sister Evie, seven, and brother Connor, three months. Picture: Taylor familySophie Taylor, far right, with sister Evie, seven, and brother Connor, three months. Picture: Taylor family

The four-year-old’s cancer diagnosis, just four days into 2018, has turned upside-down the lives of her Sprowston family, but in three short weeks the community has responded magnificently.

£6,000 has been raised, fund raisers have been organised, and Sophie has become a social media star as she begins her first round of chemotherapy.

It snowballed after dad Alex, 30, took a snap of Sophie defiantly sticking her tongue out in the face of the disease. After encouraging family and friends to do the same, the #takeasophie campaign spread.

“Wherever we went I would take a photo for her journey and she would cheekily stick her tongue out,” said Mr Taylor. “We put up social media accounts really just to raise awareness and make this as positive as we can for Sophie.”

After a swelling in her knee grew over Christmas, x-rays confirmed Sophie had osteosarcoma - a tumour in her leg which has spread to her thigh and lungs.

Mr Taylor said the NHS had been “fantastic” throughout, with just two days between visiting the GP and Sophie’s diagnosis, and two weeks before chemotherapy could begin.

“Sophie knows she has got a poorly knee,” he said. “She knows the poorly knee has cancer in it and she has got to have medicine called chemotherapy which can make her a bit sick.

“The last thing we want to do is worry her about anything. We will cross each bridge as it comes to it. The aim is to keep her as happy as we can throughout.

Alex and Kirsty Taylor, whose four-year-old daughter Sophie, has been diagnosed with bone cancer. They are with a photograph of their three children, Sophie, right, Evie, seven, and Connor, three months. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYAlex and Kirsty Taylor, whose four-year-old daughter Sophie, has been diagnosed with bone cancer. They are with a photograph of their three children, Sophie, right, Evie, seven, and Connor, three months. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

“Because it is a highly aggressive tumour she has to have highly aggressive treatment. She has got a lot of fight in her.

“She will either be fun and cheeky or she will be cross and putting you in your place. She needs to be quite stubborn and resilient to cope with what she is going through.”

Sophie along with dad Alex, mum Kirsty, 29, sister Evie, seven and brother Connor, three months, have been flooded with messages from well-wishers.

“The support has been incredible and just makes us smile,” added Mr Taylor. “She is so brave and is coping incredibly well.

Sophie Taylor, four, right, with her sister Evie, seven, and brother Connor, three-months-old. Picture: Revolution PhotographySophie Taylor, four, right, with her sister Evie, seven, and brother Connor, three-months-old. Picture: Revolution Photography

“We know what we have got coming up but we don’t think more than one day ahead. The first three weeks are a barrage of appointments. We have been lucky because so many people have been generous and come forward. There is no way we could cope if it was just the two of us.

“It is a long process but we will get through it day by day.”

To support Sophie, tweet a photo to #takeasophie, visit Super Strong Sophie on Facebook or donate at justgiving.com/crowdfunding/superstrongsophie.

All donations will go to help Sophie in her journey, and any extra will be given to a charity for those affected by osteosarcomas and children’s cancer.

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