LITTLE Sophie Edwards is pleading for people to help save her life.

The seven-year-old schoolgirl has been diagnosed with leukaemia.

But her condition was further complicated when she was diagnosed with the rare Philadelphia syndrome, which affects only about eight children a year in the UK.

Sophie is having intensive chemotherapy at home and hospital, but a bone marrow transplant is her only hope of beating the disease for good.

A desperate search is now under way to find a donor.

Her parents, Emma and Andrew Edwards, and her brother Sam, 12, have been told they are not a suitable match.

Mrs Edwards, of Newsome, said: “The past few months have been a huge shock to us all.

“Sophie was diagnosed with leukaemia at the end of February.

“She had been feeling very unwell for a bit and then she got this rash.

“We took her to casualty and she was then admitted to Leeds where she was diagnosed with leukaemia.

“I couldn’t believe what was happening to my little girl.

“We’ve just taken each week as it comes since then, not really planning anything because we just don’t know what will happen.”

Sophie has been too ill to attend Stile Common Infant School since she was diagnosed with the cancer.

The little girl, who loves Disney, spent five weeks in St James’s Hospital after she was diagnosed. She lost her hair after having chemotherapy.

To cheer herself up, Sophie made a collage of pictures taken during a family holiday to Florida, which she put at her bedside.

Sophie said: “I didn’t want to look in the mirror because I was a bit scared.

“I wrote about how I was feeling because I was upset.

“But I’m OK about it now.

“I’d really like to go back to school. I can’t go because of how I feel. I miss my friends and playing out.”

Mrs Edwards, 35, had just started working as a lunchtime supervisor when Sophie was diagnosed with leukaemia.

The former auxiliary nurse gave up her job to look after Sophie.

She added: “It has been very hard for Sophie and the family, as I’m sure it is for anyone else going through this.

“At first she found it hard to cope. But she’s been amazing at dealing with everything, she’s so brave.”

The Anthony Nolan Bone Marrow register is being checked to see if there is a match for Sophie.

The charity is helping her family and friends to hold a clinic in Huddersfield next week to seek a donor for Sophie or other people waiting for a transplant.

Mrs Edwards is urging as many people as possible to be tested, saying: “This is not just for Sophie but many other people like her. Until it happens to you, you don’t realise how many people need a transplant.

“If people want to help but are too old then please, please give blood because that also really helps to save lives.”

The clinic will be at Newsome South Methodist Church Hall, Birch Road, Berry Brow, 3.30-6.30pm next Thursday, May 15.

Donors must be aged 18-40 and need to give only a sample of blood to see if they are suitable.

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