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10:10am Wednesday 4th April 2012 in News
SHE has been fundraising to repay those that helped her family in its time of need.
Now Sophia Neofytou’s efforts have been rewarded with a coveted place in the relay of Olympic torchbearers.
The Romsey student was given the place for her efforts raising money for Hampshire-based charity the Geoff Smith Multiple Sclerosis Foundation.
The 21-year-old, who is in her third year at the University of Surrey, wanted to help the charity after her father Noff was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis eight years ago – a neurological condition where the coating around nerve fibres called myelin is damaged, causing a range of symptoms.
As a result, Sophia’s father has restricted walking ability and uses a wheelchair – his wife is his carer.
Sophia said the foundation helped them to take a holiday abroad at its especially equipped villa.
In thanks, Sophia, of Queens Close, has done several charity events in its name including a 13-mile walk and is organising a tandem skydive.
Sophia, who works in her holidays as an assistant at Romsey department store Bradbeers, was nominated by a friend through her university – Olympic sponsor Samsung were recruiting from universities.
The former Barton Peveril College student will take hold of the torch on July 20 in Dorking because it is near her university.
“At first it was kind of surreal, I didn’t really believe it and then my name went on the website and it was just so exciting, it’s quite a big honour to do,” she said.
“It’s me from a small town and I’m running in the Olympic ceremony, it’s really crazy.“I’m quite nervous, I fear I might drop it.”