Meet the Smallburgh teen who dreams of Disney World as she battles kidney failure

Sophie Kennedy with her family. Brother Harvey, 16, Madison, 11 and Lailey 6, as well as her parents

Sophie Kennedy with her family. Brother Harvey, 16, Madison, 11 and Lailey 6, as well as her parents Justin and Diane. (Picture: Sophie Kennedy) - Credit: Sophie Kennedy

The North Norfolk community is taking on the challenge to raise £10,000 to make a Smallburgh girl's dream come true.

Sophie Kennedy has struggled with her health since the day she was born, her parents being told she would only survive for two weeks.

18 years and two kidney transplants later, Sophie is once again receiving dialysis treatment after the acute failure of her donated kidney.

But her friends and family are determined to get Sophie her magic carpet ride to Walt Disney World in Florida, and are raising money through a series of fund raising events, as well as setting up a JustGiving page.

Sophie said: 'I think if we go it just won't feel real, just the idea of being able to forget about everything and have an amazing time.'


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Sophie's mother Diane and grandmother Joyce are both currently undergoing tests to determine whether they can donate their kidney to their family member.

They will be having a meeting at Addenbroke's later in the month to determine whether or not they could be a match to donate to Sophie.

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Sophie said: 'I'm quite nervous about it as I don't know what to expect. But having a trip would just really give me something to look forward to.' Mum Diane, 37, said: 'We've been trying to go for years, but every time a good chance came up Sophie would get ill again, or she was in high school and she had so much to catch up on we couldn't go, and then her youngest sister Lailey was born and we didn't want to take her when she was so little.'

The North Walsham cafe worker continued: 'She really wants us all to be there with her. Her siblings are struggling with it at the moment, her younger sister Madison who's 11 is especially finding it difficult.'

She added: 'We have no idea how long it will take for the transplant to be done, or which one of us will be chosen. We're hoping to be able to take Sophie away next summer or maybe next autumn, as she won't be able to travel for a year after she's had major surgery and will be getting used to her new medication.

Mrs Kennedy added: 'I'm a very positive person and I think that rubs off on her, but it is getting to her that her friends are going to college and university and she's worrying about her future.

'We just want her to live her dream, she's wanted it for so long.'

There will also be a series of fundraisers taking place to get Sophie and her family to Walt Disney World.

On Thursday, June 22 Cafe Kitale in North Walsham will be holding a cake sale, with the staff donating their wages to the cause.

On Friday 4 and Saturday 5 of August, a street party will also be held at 4A Market Street to raise funds, complete with a bar and live music.

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