Performing Arts School gifts wheelchair to young pupil undergoing brain tumour treatment

Sophie with mum Samantha, Stage Door Arts students and teacher Heidi Moran and mayor Raushan Ara

An eight-year-old Stage Door Arts Academy pupil  who is undergoing treatment for a brain tumour has been presented with a wheelchair to help with days out and commutes to hospital in London.

Sophie Emptage, from Ramsgate, began suffering headaches, nausea and vomiting in December last year. Her mum Samantha says she and husband Darren thought the youngster was getting over-excited about Christmas but then she continued to be unwell and said she couldn’t see properly at school.

The Ramsgate Arts Primary pupil then attended an appointment at Specsavers where it was agreed the youngster needed to attend hospital and get an MRI.

Sophie in hospital

Doctors then found Sophie had a craniopharyngioma – a type of benign brain tumour and she was blue-lighted to Kings College Hospital in London to be operated on.

Sophie, who is a member of Stage Door performing arts academy and St Lawrence Brownies, had radiotherapy and is back and forth to London going to University College Hospital for treatment.

That treatment means the youngster can become very tired and unable to walk for long periods at a time. This sadly meant, she was unable to take part in her annual dance showcase.

Her dance teacher Heidi Moran organised a collection at the dance show, and topped up the funds raised, so that Stage Door Arts Academy could get Sophie her own wheelchair.

Mayor of Ramsgate Raushan Ara then visited SDA Studios and presented it to Sophie.

Heidi said: “Sophie is a member of our SDA family. Once you join, we look after you and care about you. We have been really saddened to hear what Sophie has been going through and wanted to do something, even if it was only small, like this gesture.

“Sophie had been finding her treatment very tough and getting really tired. The family don’t have a car and didn’t want Sophie to miss out on any family days during the holidays. Having a wheelchair will also help with her regular commutes to hospital in London.

“We had lots of family and friends attending our showcase and pupils helped to collect donations.”

Mum Samantha said: “Sophie, myself and our extended family are very grateful to Heidi, the teachers, students and their families for Sophie’s wheelchair. By having the wheelchair it allows Sophie to lead a much more full life and go further distances as she has been having ongoing difficulties with mobility and tiredness since the proton beam radiation therapy.

“Sophie has attended Stage Door since the age of 2 and has loved every minute of it, from weekly lessons to performing on stage. Heidi and her team have been amazing with Sophie and this is a wonderful gift for all of us”

Sophie receives special support from big brother David

Mayor Cllr Ara added: “A huge ‘well done’ to Heidi Moran, for raising the funds for a much-needed wheelchair for her student Sophie Emptage. It was my pleasure to present the wheelchair to Sophie. I wish them both every success for the future.”