Mother told doctors her daughter’s deadly cancer was just her period

Sophie Fairall, 10, was diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare form of cancer that arises from the soft tissues of children, in 2020 two months after she became ill

Sophie Fairall on ITV's This Morning in July 2021
Sophie Fairall on ITV’s This Morning in July 2021

A mother who was told her baby daughter’s deadly cancer was just a period is calling for a national awareness campaign to help parents spot the signs.

Charlotte Fairall, from Stubbington in Hampshire, was due to appear in Parliament today to discuss the childhood cancer diagnosis after her 10-year-old daughter was diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare form of cancer that occurs in children’s soft tissues, in 2020.

However, the diagnosis came a full two months after Sophie Fairall fell ill.

Ms Fairall previously explained: “They told me it was cancer and they managed to remove 95 per cent of the tumor but they couldn’t remove everything so we started chemotherapy.

Sophie Fairall with her mother Charlotte Fairall and father Gareth Fairall


Ken McKay/ITV/REX/Shutterstock)

“She was pretty adamant that they would make her better. She kept saying doctors would make you better and I know they will do it for me.

“She had this positive attitude the whole time. She painted pottery while she was in the hospital because she wanted more toys and activities.”

According to Ms Fairall, there were some red flags that made her realize her daughter’s condition was more serious.

She said: “She had some of the real red flags. Abnormal bleeding is definitely a red flag, abdominal pain and persistent pain in the stomach was another, and that feeling of nausea.

Sophie Fairall from Stubbington in Hampshire



“We know all children feel sick, but it’s persistence. Those were all flags, but I didn’t know the signs and symptoms.

“I’ve asked a lot of people, do you know if your child has cancer, do you know the signs and symptoms to look out for?

“We want a national campaign on the signs and symptoms of childhood cancer so that the public is informed, alongside training for general practitioners and nurses because once they are qualified there is no current course on childhood cancer that they access be able.”

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