This week is Cystic Fibrosis Week (#CFWeek) and we’re helping the Cystic Fibrosis Trust raise awareness of the need for continued investment in research to help treat and beat cystic fibrosis.
Today, we’re sharing Sophie’s story.
Name: Sophie Grace Holmes
Date interviewed: 05/02/2016
“I take control of my health because if I don’t then my CF will take control of me. The older you get the harder it gets. If I don’t look after myself now, how will I feel in 5 years’ time? That’s what I always think.”
Sophie Grace Holmes is a 24 year-old blue-eyed beauty from Essex. She is bubbly, confident and full of energy (literally). Sophie is a dedicated fitness fanatic, health and nutrition enthusiast and blogger. Alongside this she is also a personal trainer, fitness model and sports massage therapist. Sophie certainly doesn’t let having cystic fibrosis (CF) hold her back, however it wasn’t always plain sailing.
At 19 years old, Sophie found herself laid up in the Royal Brompton Hospital linked to monitors, with an intravenous line in her arm feeding her antibiotics. This was the first time the CF she’d been diagnosed with at 4 months old had floored her seriously. Sophie’s lung capacity plunged from a healthy 100% to just 60% over a few months. This was the moment she decided to make her health a real priority.
“Until that moment I was just sailing through life.” Says Sophie “I was still taking my medication and doing all my exercises, but when that moment came I think that’s when reality hit me. I felt like I needed to start taking better care of myself and concentrate on my CF. The older you get the harder it gets. If I don’t look after myself now, how will I feel in 5 years’ time? That’s what I always think.”
After two weeks in hospital Sophie returned home determined to take control of her health. She spent six months combining her admin job at a local firm with alternative weekends qualifying as a personal trainer at a London college. She gained her qualification three years ago and now runs her own successful business as a personal trainer. She also hits the gym and lifts weights six days a week, and is so busy that one of her best friends works as her PA. Alongside her fitness regime, Sophie takes a cocktail of medicines with her nebulizer (including DNASE, TOBI Podhaler, Manitol and Creon 10000 for digestion) and vitamins A and K.
In February 2016, Sophie was the face of the Cystic Fibrosis Trust’s Life Unlimited campaign which saw her face up in lights at Piccadilly Circus, and included a starring role in the charity’s campaign video. The video features home video footage of her growing up juggling hospital visits with school, horse-riding lessons and birthday parties. Sophie is keen to do all she can to raise awareness of CF, and admits that not enough people understand the condition:
“People don’t quite know what CF is. I’ve just taken on a client whose lung function is terrible – he’s got asthma – and he said he came to me because he knows I have CF and thinks I can help him. That’s fine, but he just shrugged off CF like it was nothing. I didn’t say anything, but he assumed I’m fine because I train most days. If I just sat still I would plummet very quickly. People don’t understand the severity of it. If you saw me walking down the street you would never know I have CF.”
Sophie is determined to live life to the full and has set herself a long bucket list. She has already skydived from 15,00 ft over Norfolk on her 21 st birthday and climbed Mount Kilimanjaro; and she is now planning to ride a husky sled from Norway to Sweden and conduct a fundraising trip to the Great Wall of China in 2017.
“I don’t want to miss out on anything if I can help it. I have lost friends to cystic fibrosis and I am lucky enough to still be here – they are the ones who drive me forward. I work hard. I understand how to control my CF and I aim to be around until I am at least 87!”
Show your Support this Cystic Fibrosis Week
You can show your support for CF research this Cystic Fibrosis Week when you shop and search at Savoo. We donate for every deal you download at savoo.co.uk. Find out more about how it works and start supporting for free today.
If you’d like to find out more about Cystic Fibrosis Week, visit the Cystic Fibrosis Trust website.