“SHE has been incredibly brave and continues to smile through the hardest of times.”

These are the words of Nicola Perry, from North Petherton, whose daughter Sophie Holt is battling leukaemia – at the age of four.

While her diagnosis at the age of two-and-a-half is every parents’ nightmare, she can take comfort in the fact the community is behind her.

A total of 13 children and 20 parents are taking part in a mini ‘three peaks challenge’ to raise money for the children’s ward at Musgrove Park Hospital, in Taunton, which is caring for her.

The fund-raising event, organised by Vicky Kierle, whose daughter attends North Petherton Primary School with Sophie, will see them climb Burrow Mump, Glastonbury Tor and Cothelstone Hill on February 10-11.

Somerset County Gazette:

Mum Nicola said: “I was really touched when Vicky came to me to ask me if it was okay to do a three peaks challenge to raise funds to support Sophie.

“Sophie was diagnosed with leukaemia when she was two and a half - it is the worst thing a parent can hear.

“The first eight months of her treatment were particularly difficult as she was in and out of hospital and she lost her hair.

“Me and some family and friends came together and became ‘Sophie’s Soldiers’ and did a lot of fundraising for a number of cancer charities.

“Sophie’s now on her second year of treatment and is coping well, she is in remission at the moment but there is still a long way to go.

“I’ll be walking with all of the mums and children for the three peaks challenge and am so touched that so many people are coming out to support Sophie.”

Somerset County Gazette:

Sophie was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia on May 26, 2016. She is on course to finish maintenance treatment on August 31 this year and, until then, continues to have regular chemotherapy.

Nicola added: “She’s been incredibly brave and continues to smile through the hardest of times.”

Vicky and pupils in two reception classes at the primary school are determined to raise at least £500 for Love Musgrove – the Taunton hospital’s charity which raises money to improve care.

"I know that Nicola, her friends, colleagues and family members have done a great job in raising money, raising the profile of childhood cancer and giving pints of blood,” Vicky said.

Vicky said that, as a parent of a child the same age of Sophie, and reading some of Nicola’s social media posts about her, she “just wanted to do something positive.”

“I hoped there would be other parents from the school who felt the same, and there was,” Vicky said.

So far, £297 has been raised towards the target.

"Our hope is that once we have collected all the money some of the children can visit the children’s ward at Musgrove and donate the cheque to them," Vicky said.

"Our target is £500 and already we have £297 of online donations with several sponsor forms full as well, so we hope to achieve our target."

The money raised will go to Love Musgrove to provide items, equipment and training to benefit patients, visitors and staff and Nicola said she has enjoyed planning the event.

She said: "It’s been lovely to plan the event and have so much support from parents and grandparents.

"We are just hoping the weather is kind to us for the challenge.

"We will have some collection pots with us while walking, so if anyone sees our yellow tribe of four and five-year-olds, please donate and cheer the children and us parents on."

For more information or to donate visit Vicky's Just Giving page by clicking here.