Sophia's Fundraiser

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Why I’m doing Jeans for Genes

Sophia may be in remission from cancer, but we still live in fear of it coming back.

We are thrilled that Sophia has been chosen as a face of the 2022 Jeans for Genes campaign and we’d ask that you support us as we fundraise for better treatments and cures.

Latest updates

29 Jun 2022 by Liz Burfitt

Sophia's Story

Like many babies, Sophia was constantly sick when she started day care, but when her eye started to bulge everything changed in what her parents describe as one “terrifying goosebump moment’’.

Sophia had just turned one when her parents, Liz and Pat, noticed a difference in her eye following what they thought was yet another “day care sickness’’. She became very dehydrated and taken to hospital where an MRI was ordered.

“It was just terrifying,’’ Liz said. “Initially, we saw this white kind of blob, and then they just zoomed deeper and deeper. And it was just like this big spiderweb all throughout the left side of the face. It was a goosebump moment. It was horrible.’’

More tests followed over several days, and eventually Sophia was diagnosed with a type of cancer known as a germ cell tumour, behind her eye. She required surgery and chemotherapy.

“As a parent, over that first 12 months you're totally in control of your child, they totally rely on you,’’ Liz said. “And for us having to hand her future over to research and professionals. It was really hard to let go and trust - and that's what we had to do.’’

Sophia is now in remission, but Pat said returning to normal life was almost harder than treatment.

“She has five years of check-ups,’’ Pat said. “It's the first two years which they're going to treat as most critical. Every month, she goes and gets a blood test. And every quarter, she gets an MRI. It is kind of a reminder that there's still a chance she could relapse. So, I think it's until she's cured, which isn't for a few years, it's going to be an ongoing sense of waiting. And that sense that you are helpless to affect the result.’’

Their oncologist, Dr Luciano Dalla-Pozza, is on the Board of Children’s Medical Research Institute. Once the family heard about CMRI’s cancer research, they immediately wanted to be a part of the Jeans for Genes campaign.

“We’ve met so many different families, and the only difference between whether their kid is cured or ultimately dies is because of research,’’ Liz said. “When the biopsy came back for Sophia as a germ cell tumour, there was research, and therefore her chances of complete cure are very high. If it came back something different, she may not be here, or we'd be managing pain at this point. Research gives people a chance to survive"

20 Jun 2022 by Liz Burfitt

Meet Sophia

Latest donations

$ 211

John And Louise Limbers donated at today

"Keep being gorgeous and strong Sophia! Love all the Limbers xx"

$ 1.52k

Liz, Pat, Sophia And Hamish donated at today

"For more little lives to be saved 💛🌻 Thank God for CMRI and research"

$ 1.52k

Anonymous donated at 1 days ago

$ 232.10

John, Ruby, Melissa, Christian, Clementine And Robyn Catsanos donated at 1 week ago

"Such a brave little trooper! Good on you beautiful girl, we love you lots xxx"

$ 104

Anonymous donated at 2 weeks ago

"Such a worthy cause and such a special ambassador! We love you Sophia!"

$ 211

Smith Family donated at 2 weeks ago

"We feel so privileged to watch Sophia grow & thrive on life. She is very lucky to have you both as her parents. Xx"

$ 86

Stefan & Harini donated at 2 weeks ago

$ 53

Lorena Valente donated at 2 weeks ago

$ 200

Naomi Ross donated at 2 weeks ago

"So proud of you guys. Thank you for being so brave and share your story to raise money for research. We will always hold Sophia close to our hearts 💕"

$ 109.72

Lucy Burfitt donated at 2 weeks ago

"Small but strong keeps us all smiling <3"

$ 200

Isabel Barrera donated at 2 weeks ago

$ 104

Penny Burfitt donated at 2 weeks ago

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