Sophia is a happy, funny, typical 14-month-old. She's just starting to walk and talk and show her personality to the world.
But this July, it was discovered that Sophia had a rare and aggressive germ cell tumour.
It all started when Sophia’s mum noticed that Sophia had a swollen left eye and took her to the doctor. The doctor diagnosed it as conjunctivitis, but soon afterwards, Sophia also developed a fever.
Her mum became more concerned and took her straight to the hospital, where Sophia had an MRI that indicated the appearance of a large mass behind Sophia’s left eye.
Sophia was then transferred to Westmead hospital where her family was given the heartbreaking news...
Doctors had found a large, aggressive tumour behind the left side of her face, in the sinonasal region. Little Sophia was diagnosed with a rare germ cell tumour.
Since her diagnosis, Sophia has endured an MRI, CT scans, PET scans, a nasal endoscopy, a biopsy, a central line insertion, 3 rounds of chemotherapy and blood transfusions.
Because of these treatments, Sophia often has night terrors and nausea, but generally, she remains happy and doesn’t complain, which is saying a lot for a 14-month-old. Since she's so young, Sophia doesn’t really understand what is happening to her and is happy to go to the hospital and get all the attention. At the moment she's learning to walk with her chemo pole as she drags it all over the hospital.
Sophia is due to start her 4th round of chemotherapy later this month, and the road beyond that is still somewhat unknown. Once she has completed the initial 4 rounds of chemotherapy, additional treatment may vary from 3 months up to 2 years in duration since her diagnosis is so rare.
Sophia’s mum told us, “From 3 months old, we have called Sophia "small but strong" and it is just so fitting because over the last few months she has been just so strong and resilient. She has taught us so much.”
Sophia, we’re riding for YOU this October, inspired by your strength and resilience. GO SOPHIA!