She stole the hearts of the nation when she shaved off her long blonde hair on live TV. But for 11-year-old Sophia, that was just her latest act of giving that has stunned her mum as she works towards her dream of curing children with cancer.
Sophia, from Sydney, was one of the stars of Saturday’s Sydney Telethon, when she cried with joy as her long locks were shaved off.
She was congratulated for amazing selfless act by Seven stars David Koch, Natalie Barr as well as a host of other celebrities for raising $600 almost immediately in her campaign.
But her gesture – to donate her hair to make wigs for young cancer patients at Ronald McDonald House – was just a drop in the ocean – the inspiring young lady has raised $12,000 to help those less fortunate than her.
Sophia, 11, shaved her long blonde hair off to be made into a wig for a cancer patient. She was so thrilled after a 12 month wait that she cried tears of happiness (right)
Channel Seven’s Kochie gives her a cuddle after she shaved her hair at the telethon
Channel Seven’s Sally Obermeder, Monique Wright and Natalie Barr asked for a photo with Sophia after her incredible gesture for charity
‘I had the choice to shave my head, but sick kids don’t. That’s why I wanted to do it. To show my support,’ Sophia, who didn’t want to give her surname because her acts of generosity ‘are not about her’, told Daily Mail Australia.
‘I was so excited when I got my hair shaved that it was finally happening after wanting to do it for more than 12 months.
‘I wasn’t nervous at all, I had happy tears!’
Before she shaved her head, Sophia campaigned tirelessly to raise money for children living at Ronald McDonald House, surpassing her goal of $10,000 on her online charity page.
Ronald McDonald House provides accommodation for sick children and their families as they undergo crucial and often long-term hospital treatment.
Her mother Suzy is constantly stunned by her daughter, who studies for hours every day so she can become a doctor, donates her pocket money and visits her new friends in hospital every week.
Sophia wasn’t nervous at all to shave off her long, beautiful hair as she knew others needed it more
Before she shaved her head, Sophia campaigned tirelessly to raise money for children living at Ronald McDonald House, surpassing her goal of $10,000 on her online charity page
For years Sophia has visited to Ronald McDonald House at Westmead, where sick children and their families are given accommodation during hospital stays
‘We’re very proud of her but we’re not shocked. She does amazing things and she really believes in this cause,’ Suzy said.
‘She is so humble. We’ve made sure she sat down and read all the beautiful messages people have been writing, so she knows how much it means to people and how inspired they are.
‘I think she saw something on TV about the Ronald McDonald House when she was five years old and decided that’s what she wanted to do.
‘She saw the sick kids and thought “that can’t happen”.’
‘She’s very kind and very special. That’s is just Sophia, she is kind everyday.
‘Every year she donates her birthday and Christmas money to the Ronald McDonald House.
‘She uses her pocket money every week to donate milk to the children at the house.’
Kylie Gillies wrote a beautiful post, commending Sophia for her thoughtfulness and kindness
Sophia’s mother Suzy (right) says Sophia is so special, humble and is kind every single day
Sophia’s sister Ellie (left) says she couldn’t be prouder of her beautiful little sister, who inspires her
‘She takes it down to the house to ensure the children also receive four litres of chocolate milk – an absolute necessity!’
Of Sophia’s decision to shave her head, Suzy said she was fully supportive.
‘She was going to just do it at the hairdressers, it was very important to Sophia that it wasn’t about her, it was about the children,’ Suzy said.
‘She only agreed to do it at the Telethon in the hope it would raise more money for the charity.
‘I felt really scared when she cried as they shaved her head, wondering if maybe she was having second thoughts. But she was just really overwhelmed with her happiness.’
Sophia says she couldn’t believe it when stars like Ray Meagher, Sophie Monk, David Koch and Tom Williams asked to take a photo with her before her big shave
Sophia, pictured with Channel Seven’s David Koch, says she decided to do her shave during the telethon as it was the best way to ensure she raised as much money for charity as possible
Every year Sophia donates her birthday and Christmas money to the Ronald McDonald House
‘They had watched Sophia on TV and ran up to her and gave her big hugs and kisses,’ Suzy added.
‘She loves going there. They’re all beautiful friends.’
Sophia has received hundreds of messages from strangers and is so grateful for the support.
‘Sophia, my daughter has been very sick and has had 30 operations. We stay in a Ronald McDonald House when she is sick,’ wrote Vanessa Risku.
‘You sweetheart are an amazing, kind and giving young lady.
‘Take it from someone who has spent half of my daughters 12 yrs in hospital – what you are doing is beyond words.
Sophia is only in Year Six but she studies tirelessly, even during school holidays and sometimes up to eight hours a day. She desperately wants to study medicine at university
‘If there were more people like you in this world it would be a happy place. Thank you sweetheart for making life easier for so many families xxx’
The year six student is already studying intensively as she has her heart set on studying medicine at university.
‘Her whole life is working towards this cause. She works so, so hard behind the scenes,’ said Suzy.
‘She studies endlessly! She had tutoring through summer while we were outside surfing and having fun.
‘She’s so committed, studying algebra and everything to make sure she gets into medicine one day. It means to much to her.’
‘She’s always been really bright and loves to learn.’