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Tributes paid to 'strong and inspirational' Barming mum who died after battle with breast cancer


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An "inspirational" young mum who was battling breast cancer and hoped to take her children to Disneyland died before they were able to make the trip.

Sophie Collins, from Barming, was diagnosed with the disease in December 2020, while pregnant with her second child, but sadly passed away on Wednesday. (Jan 19)

Sophie Collins, 26, from Barming, sadly died on January 19, 2022
Sophie Collins, 26, from Barming, sadly died on January 19, 2022

Despite rounds of chemotherapy the disease spread to her spine, hips, back and chest.

The former Maidstone Travelodge housekeeper was told she would live for just over a year, but those months turned to weeks after the cancer became more aggressive.

Sophie, 26, decided she wanted to spend as much time with her two girls, Delilah and Daisy, which included a trip to Disneyland on Tuesday, February 1, but after hearing the disease had become more aggressive her goal was to make it to Christmas.

Speaking after Sophie's death brother Matthew said: "She really has touched so many lives. Even the people who didn't know her followed her journey.

"Sophie had such a loving heart. She would give you her last £1.

Sophie Collins with her daughter Delilah
Sophie Collins with her daughter Delilah

"She had a strong fighting spirit. She took it all on the chin and carried on for her girls. And my God did she fight till her last breath.

"Daisy and Delilah became her strength. All she wanted was more time with her babies. She knew what she wanted and wasn't prepared to settle.

"Our mum Mandy Collins was a huge support to her during the whole experience. And ended up caring for her full time. Which was no easy task. But as a family we all rallied round and made sure she had everything she needed.

"We are a very close family. So Sophie's passing will leave a huge part of our hearts missing.

"Our hearts break for her girls. They have been robbed of a mother who would do anything for them. But they should be so proud of their mummy."

Sophie Collins, from Barming, with her mum Mandy Collins who was a massive support for her
Sophie Collins, from Barming, with her mum Mandy Collins who was a massive support for her

In November Matthew set up a fundraiser for the former Valley Park student, whose own dad died of cancer when she was 11, to help take her and his nieces to the theme park in France.

Sadly, the family haven't been able to visit Disneyland, but the money was used for days out experiences for them to enjoy and remember Sophie by.

Speaking in November, Sophie said: “At the moment I am just completely numb from it. Every part of me wants to believe is isn’t true, it isn’t happening to me.

“I am not thinking about myself, I am thinking about the girls. I don’t want them to think mummy was really sad.”

While Sophie, of Edmund Close, was pregnant with her youngest daughter, Delilah, she found a lump on her left breast.

Matthew Collins has paid tribute to his sister Sophie after she battled cancer
Matthew Collins has paid tribute to his sister Sophie after she battled cancer

Her GP thought it wasn’t anything to cause concern, but referred her to hospital for a scan just in case.

Hospital staff performing the scan initially thought it was a blocked milk duct due to her pregnancy.

So when she got a call two weeks later to come to Maidstone Hospital, she was not expecting bad news.

But, at 10 weeks pregnant, she was told she had breast cancer.

“My fear was ‘is my daughter going to make it?’ I had a mastectomy in January then I started chemotherapy while still pregnant. I delivered Delilah in April.”

Sophie Collins with her youngest daughter, Delilah. Pic: Sophie Collins
Sophie Collins with her youngest daughter, Delilah. Pic: Sophie Collins

“Everything was taken away from the pregnancy, I couldn’t ever enjoy it because I had so much going on,” she recalled.

After her single mastectomy, doctors discovered Miss Collins had triple negative breast cancer, which is considered to be more aggressive and harder to treat, because hormone therapy doesn’t work.

Sophie then had to undergo intense chemotherapy, meaning she missed out on important steps in her daughters’ lives.

She couldn’t take her eldest daughter Daisy to her first day of nursery, and then missed out on her third birthday because she was in hospital.

At the start of September she finished chemotherapy only to be told three weeks later that treatment hadn’t worked.

Sophie Collins, from Barming, with her brother Matthew
Sophie Collins, from Barming, with her brother Matthew

Then in November doctors informed her the cancer had spread to other parts of her body and she has stage four secondary breast cancer.

The fundraiser reached beyond its £5,000 target, with more than £7,400 donated.

Matthew explained Sophie was a supported of Mummy Star - a charity which supports mums going through pregnancy with cancer - and any donations would be appreciated here.

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