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'Devastated beyond words' - Five-year-old moved to hospice for end of life care after year-long cancer fight

PUBLISHED: 13:31 14 January 2019 | UPDATED: 08:09 15 January 2019

Sprowston schoolgirl Sophie Taylor underwent a major operation on one of her legs at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital in Stanmore. She is pictured here in hospital after the operation.  Photo: supplied by the Taylor family

Sprowston schoolgirl Sophie Taylor underwent a major operation on one of her legs at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital in Stanmore. She is pictured here in hospital after the operation. Photo: supplied by the Taylor family

supplied by the Taylor family

She has spent a year bravely fighting and defiantly sticking her tongue out at cancer.

Sophie Taylor. Picture: Taylor familySophie Taylor. Picture: Taylor family

But just two days after the anniversary of her diagnosis, Norwich five-year-old Sophie Taylor was told the disease had returned - aggressively.

After facing treatment, surgery and constant hospital visits, things had been looking bright for the Sprowston schoolgirl.

It was January last year when she was diagnosed with osteosarcoma - bone cancer.

Sophie Taylor, with Darrell Green, at the UEA lab examining her tumour. Photo: Alex TaylorSophie Taylor, with Darrell Green, at the UEA lab examining her tumour. Photo: Alex Taylor

By December she was in remission and was waiting a new prosthetic leg, nicknamed her ‘magic leg’.

Devastatingly, two days after celebrating her ‘diagnosis day’, the family were told the cancer had returned to her lungs.

The resilient youngster has now been moved to a hospice for end of life care.

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

Her parents have kept well-wishers updated through her social media accounts, naming her Super Strong Sophie and spreading messages of positivity.

“It is with great sadness that I am letting you know I have relapsed,” they posted on her social media pages. “My cancer has returned extensively in my lungs and I am not well enough for any treatment trials.

“My family are devastated beyond words.

“It has taken a hold of me very quickly and today I left Addenbrookes for the last time to go to a hospice for end of life care.

“I have been positive throughout my journey and will continue to fight to the very end. The reality is that my journey in the end has been very cruel.

“I celebrated my diagnosis day, 4th January, with a party and then on Sunday 6th I was admitted to hospital struggling to breath. Scans revealed that cancer had returned very aggressively throughout my lungs.

Sophie Taylor, far right, with mum Kirsty, sister Evie, brother Connor and dad Alex. Picture: Taylor familySophie Taylor, far right, with mum Kirsty, sister Evie, brother Connor and dad Alex. Picture: Taylor family

“The cruellest blow of all is that today I should have been in Florida seeing the Disney Castle as my wish holiday with Rays of Sunshine. Instead I am on oxygen fighting for my life and will never get to Florida.

“Make the most of every moment you have and please send me as much positive energy that by some miracle I return to good health.

“No matter what happens to me I have always lived up to my name SUPER STRONG SOPHIE.”

James Maddison carries Sophie Taylor on Saturday, April 7. Photo: Jasonpix/NCFCJames Maddison carries Sophie Taylor on Saturday, April 7. Photo: Jasonpix/NCFC

Sophie’s fighting spirit has earned her a legion of supporters, with her Take a Sophie message - encouraging people to take photos of themselves defiantly sticking their tongues out at cancer - now printed on t-shirts.

Over the last year she made “best friends” with former Norwich City star James Maddison, ever since acting as mascot for the club last April.

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