Having had and beaten endometrial ovarian cancer, twice, Sophie's only option left to have a child, is to freeze her eggs...
Hi Sophie. Firstly, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
So I'm Sophie, I'm 27 and a Yorkshire lass through and through. I tend to live quite a sporadic lifestyle - I'm primarily an actor, writer (in my spare time) and youth and womens advocate support worker when work is quiet (supporting them to get their lives back on track if they are or have been pre or post bereaved with links to hospice care and also getting more support for people who have been through rape, sexual assault and domestic violence.)
I've suffered with endometriosis since being 14 but only got diagnosed back in 2003. Since then, I developed endometrial ovarian cancer and have been in and out of hospital having various treatment as well as probably going through more than your average twenty year old. I'd like to think I'm exceptionally positive and tend to live each day as if it were my last though and love sharing this energy with others!
"I decided on the amount after doing a lot of research into how much it would cost for
consultations and appointments."
How did you find out about JustGiving Crowdfunding and what prompted you to set up your page?
I actually had just come out of a really horrible hospital appointment and was on the bus back home quite teary. A lady who knew me from being a little girl was also on the bus, we began speaking normally and I (to my embarrassment) had a little cry to her and she suggested that maybe I should think about setting up a page to try and get some help from friends so that I could freeze my eggs before my partial hysterectomy.
What did you do to promote your page?
Mainly Facebook and speaking to people when I was out and about. The more people heard about my story, the more they would ask how they could help. I also linked them to my blogs: https://sophlen.wordpress.com
People have been amazing!
By the time your page closed, you raised an amazing £4,080. How did you initially come to decide the target amount on your page?
I know, I really cannot still to this moment believe it or the generosity of people! I decided on the amount after doing a lot of research into how much it would cost for consultations and appointments with treatment after this to not only get a doctor to see me (with me having such a rare condition at such a young age) but also to be able to freeze my eggs. For the minimum amount of time it came to on average £3,000 and on top of that, it cost around £250-300 for one single appointment to see someone who was willing to meet me which I definitely did not have spare.
Since the page closed, have there been any developments? How, (if possible) have you been able to put the funds to use?
Unfortunately my cancer has returned in my blood, which means a lot of my treatment is free for up to three years and I'm undergoing some pretty terrible treatment. I'm now in consultations with two different teams and have found out that the money I raised through my crowdfunding now means I can freeze my eggs up to ten years which give me the physical and psychological capacity to potentially be the mother I always wanted in the future! I genuinely cannot thank people enough and yourselves for setting up such an amazing idea!
"People really are amazing and incredibly generous!"
What top 3 tips would you give to someone setting up a Crowdfunding Page?
Don't be scared, people do actually want to help!
No matter how scary your story feels or is, it's not the worst out there and unless people hear of the details,
then how do they know how and why they're helping?
You will reach your target and if you don't then guess what?!
You can extend it a bit longer and share all that more!
What did you learn throughout the process and was there anything that surprised you?
Simply that people really are amazing and incredibly generous! Also that being nice, kind and helping others without wanting nothing back by some miracle comes back around. Some people, strangers more than anything surprised me the most at the amount of genuine support they want to give you. People really couldn't wait to do more to help me and my cause. That's incredibly humbling and actually makes me quite emotional when thinking of some of my encounters on sharing my story.