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Inspirational Isobel Sheppard, 13, is determined to live life to the full after cancer diagnosis and leg amputation




An ‘inspirational’ 13-year-old girl who had her leg amputated after she was diagnosed with a rare cancer is determined not to let it stop her living life to the full.

Isobel Sheppard was told in January she had a synovial sarcoma in her groin after a painful swelling appeared at the top of her leg.

The Sybil Andrews student’s parents Samantha and Elliott initially thought she had sustained an injury when mountain biking with her dad but after a trip to the GP, it became clear that the problem was much more serious.

13-year-old Isobel had her leg amputated after she was diagnosed with a synovial sarcoma in her groin. (36787662)
13-year-old Isobel had her leg amputated after she was diagnosed with a synovial sarcoma in her groin. (36787662)

“It was so surreal when the doctor told us it was cancer and it just seemed like such a whirlwind from there,” said Sam. “We had never heard of a synovial sarcoma so we had to learn a lot very quickly. All of us were in a state of shock. It just goes to show that no matter how small you think a lump or bump is, you should get it checked out.”

Isobel started chemotherapy on February 9 and on May 12, she underwent almost five hours of surgery to amputate her leg after the doctors said it was the only way to remove the tumour.

“That was a really long day for us and it didn’t sink in for quite a while,” said Sam, who is also mum to 10-year-old Josh.

Isobel Sheppard was diagnosed with a synovial sarcoma in January (36865952)
Isobel Sheppard was diagnosed with a synovial sarcoma in January (36865952)

“But within three days Isobel was up and trying to walk. It never occurred to her that she couldn’t do it. She has always been very determined not to let this hold her back and after every setback, she has always sprung back quicker.”

Sam added that, despite the coronavirus pandemic having created extra stress for the family and prevented Isobel from having visitors, the youngster had always looked at the positives.

“I’m just blown away by how courageous she has been through it all and how she has kept a smile the whole time,” she said.

Isobel Sheppard was diagnosed with a synovial sarcoma in January (36865946)
Isobel Sheppard was diagnosed with a synovial sarcoma in January (36865946)

And Isobel is already counting down the days until she can meet her friends and get back to her favourite hobbies - swimming and cycling.

A fund-raising page set up for Isobel has raised around £17,000, which will go towards home alterations to make it easier for Isobel to get around.

“We can’t believe how supportive the community has been,” said Sam. “We don’t know exactly what we need to spend it on yet but it will all go to help make life easier for Isobel.”


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