A photographer has admitted that picturing her five-year-old daughter’s fight with cancer has helped her to “work through” personal anguish.
Zofeya Dorgu, who lives at Kensworth, was diagnosed with medulloblastoma, a malignant brain tumour, in July last year and has had to undergo brain surgery and intensive chemotherapy.
The Markyate Village School pupil has since been made a star on a blog her mother Noemi set up, as well as a Facebook group called Zofeya’s Daily Journey.
The group, which has hundreds of followers, documents Zofeya’s treatment and gives regular updates for friends and family across the world.
As a professional photographer Noemi has uploaded heart-touching images of her daughter which have not only kept others informed but also have provided an outlet to help her deal with Zofeya’s illness.
She told the Gazette: “When Zofeya was first diagnosed I often felt a loss for words. A language which I find easier is visual and since photography was always part of my life it became a way for me to try and make sense of it.
“Later it became a tool to try and communicate with family and friends.”
She added: “Very quickly it grew into something else and both blog and images are helping me to work through what is happening as well giving an insight to a lot of other people how it can look like when your life changes in a single moment due to cancer.”
Images on the blog have detailed Zofeya’s extended treatment at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge, as well as treasured time spent at home with father Matthew and brother Malacai.
Posts have also included pictures of Zofeya losing her hair as she undergoes gruelling chemotherapy.
Noemi said: “Accepting the changes, including hair loss, is not easy as a parent when all you want to do is protect your child from pain and this disease which suddenly changed your life forever.
“The amazing thing I have learned as a mum and seen over and over again is the courage of all those children who have to undergo difficult cancer treatment.
“They still smile and play when they are able to and haven’t forgotten how to live in the moment. Their strength and courage is like nothing I have seen before.”
Childrens cancer charity CLIC Sargent has supported the Dorgus through Zofeya’s treatment, sending a social worker to spend time with the family at Addenbrooke’s. The five-year-old was also given a picture booklet to help her understand her illness.
To mark CLIC Sargent’s work, Zofeya, Noemi, Matthew and Malacai will be supporting the charity’s upcoming Wig Wednesday on May 21.
The event will see thousands of people across the country don wigs to raise money and show support for children suffering from hair loss.
Noemi said: “We are supporting Wig Wednesday to say thank you to CLIC Sargent, which has helped us on this difficult ongoing journey and has made such a difference to our family, as well as the lives of many others.”
To sign up or find out more about Wig Wednesday, visit www.clicsargent.org.uk/wigwednesday or call 0845 1212 492.