Harborough mum makes angel dolls to travel the world on behalf of her daughter who has incurable cancer

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The angels are an internet hit

Dolls made by a loving Harborough mum are travelling the world to visit the places her poorly daughter is not able to.

Jan Hamilton created a peg doll to represent brave daughter Sophie, who has incurable cancer.

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And the two-inch ‘angels’ have become an internet sensation after friends and family started posting images of them across the UK and abroad.

Sophie and Jan with the angelsSophie and Jan with the angels
Sophie and Jan with the angels

They were originally created to raise funds for charity Cancer Research UK, and have now been pictured everywhere from supermarkets to Los Angeles, Paris and even Harry Styles’ Wembley Stadium concert.

Sophie, age 52 and mum to 20-year-old son Ollie, says her wish is the angels will reach all the places she can’t as a symbol of hope and love.

The former Ministry of Dance school owner from Market Harborough was diagnosed with stage four anal cancer in 2018 and became the first person to survive a pioneering 12-hour operation to remove a tumour the size of a melon and rebuild her internal pelvic area using stomach muscle.

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After a long recovery involving months in hospital isolation, more high-risk surgery and radiotherapy, Sophie was given the devastating news the cancer had spread and was incurable.

Her last hope is a six-month course of chemotherapy which just ended.

Sophie said she hoped the dolls would boost a fundraising campaign she began in December called ‘Yeah But No Butt’ - a reference to Little Britain character Vicky Pollard. It has so far raised more than £8,000 for Cancer Research UK.

She said: “I really want to help raise awareness of anal cancer and the need for more research.

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“It’s the research that gives us hope and keeps you going as a cancer patient, hoping that something new will come along.”

Sophie’s mum said the angels embodied the spirit of her daughter.

She told the Mail: “The dolls came about because I couldn’t do what I really wanted to do, which was to make Sophie better.

“I thought fundraising would be a good idea, so I looked at some Christmas decorations and what emerged was a little angel that reminded me of Sophie, beautiful and smiling and with her arms out ready to give everybody a hug. I thought she embodies the spirit which I know so well in Sophie so that’s what I started to do. We decided to share them with people who supported us through the toughest of times. It’s a gift of love from Sophie and me and we hope that any fundraising that comes from it can help others as well.”

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Sophie added: “My mum is my absolute saviour. She’s helped me through every single day and seeing these dolls has given me such a massive boost. My health means I can’t do all the things I’d like to do, and I love to travel, so watching where they pop up on people’s adventures has been brilliant.

“I have to live each day as it comes but I feel lucky to be here and to have the support of so many wonderful friends.”

Sophie is hoping to open Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life in Leicester on Sunday (July 9) and Northampton on July 31. Click here to sign up.

To donate to Sophie’s Yeah Butt No Butt appeal click here.