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Hats on at Ramsgate Arts Primary for vital cancer research charity – The Isle Of Thanet News

Sophie and big brother David

By Peter Barnett

A fundraising day to help Brain Tumour Research will become an annual event at Ramsgate Arts Primary.

Year 5 pupil Sophie – who has undergone lengthy treatment for the condition – asked the school to support the charity to raise awareness, donations and in memory of a former RAPS pupil Brooklyn Bain, the four year old who lost his brave fight with an aggressive brain tumour in January.

Nine-year-old Sophie’s suggestion to get behind the Wear A Hat Day initiative was embraced by children, families and staff and raised more than £200, with RAPS Head of School Nick Budge pledging to make it an integral part of their annual fundraising.

Sophie lives in Ramsgate with her family, including her brother David, a former RAPS pupil.

Mum Sam Emptage said: “I cannot tell you how proud I am of Sophie, who is a little fighter, and of her brother who has been so supportive.”

Sophie at school

Sam explained how Sophie was first diagnosed and how her situation quickly unfolded: “Sophie began to get headaches and be sick around December 2021.

“We managed to book an eye appointment at Specsavers, which took a while, and on January 22, 2022, they identified a problem.

“On January 26 we attended William Harvey Hospital in Ashford where I was shown a worrying MRI scan that showed a tumour, a craniopharyngioma. This is effectively a benign tumour but due to the position it can have many effects.

“The next day we were blue-lighted into Kings College Hospital in London where Sophie had the tumour de-bulked – they couldn’t safely remove the whole thing.

“She had a six week course of proton beam radiotherapy in April and May in 2022 that should kill off the tumour which remains – this has effectively turned off the pituitary gland so she is now adrenal insufficient and has to have replacement hormones.

Samantha (right) and her mum Trish braved the shave for charity

“We were very keen to raise money for Brain Tumour Research. In March 2023 myself and my mum took part in a sponsored head shave, raising more than £3000. Sophie was keen to raise money too, particularly following the sad passing of Brooklyn.

“Brain Tumour Research hold a wear a hat day each year and Mr Budge spent some time speaking with Sophie after she suggested taking part.

“I understand this will be a regular event at the school going forward and feel this is a lovely legacy not only for Brooklyn, but for the strongest little girl I know.

RAPS hat day

“Sophie has remained very positive and is aware all appointments now are to make sure she is staying well; we see numerous specialists at numerous hospitals.

“RAPS has been amazing and continues to support us, allowing for Sophie’s appointments and providing medication at school.”

Sophie, who is looking forward to her tenth birthday in May, enjoys Brownies and Cubs and dances on a Saturday morning.

Mr Budge said: “We are so proud to support Sophie and her family – and Brooklyn’s memory – by vowing to get behind the brilliant research work this essential charity does to offer hope to so many people.”

Brain Tumour Research is the only national charity in the UK focused on finding a cure for all types of brain tumours through campaigning to increase the national investment in brain tumour research to £35 million per year, while fundraising to create a network of seven sustainable Brain Tumour Research Centres of Excellence across the UK.

Find out more online at

Ramsgate mum says ‘fantastic’ staff at town’s Specsavers may have saved her daughter’s life

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