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Founder Alf the Label baby bag and accessories reveals battle against brain tumor and diabetes insipidus

A mumpreneur who could drink 20 liters of water and still be thirsty from a small brain tumor is kept alive with carefully administered doses of medication if she begins to dehydrate or sweat.

Sophie Doyle, from Perth, Australia is candid about her rare life-threatening health condition and how she overcame it to start a family and a successful business.

Ms. Doyle was just 20 and living in Thailand when she became incredibly ill overnight.

The now 36-year-old told Daily Mail Australia how she woke up in the middle of the night feeling incredibly dehydrated, but no amount of water could quench her thirst.

Mrs. Doyle returned to Australia, but the doctors were unable to determine what was wrong with her for five long weeks.

Sophie Doyle (pictured) from Perth, Australia was diagnosed with diabetes insipidus which causes an imbalance of fluid in the body and prevents it from retaining water.

Sophie Doyle (pictured) from Perth, Australia was diagnosed with diabetes insipidus which causes an imbalance of fluid in the body and prevents it from retaining water.

“I often feel dehydrated, I don’t absorb nutrients properly, and I have trouble retaining water in my body, but doctors have no idea what caused the autoimmune disease,” she said.

Her world was turned upside down when tests eventually discovered a fatal tumor on her pituitary gland, leading doctors to diagnose diabetes insipidus on December 28, 2005.

The uncommon condition causes an imbalance of fluid in the body and prevents it from retaining water.

“I often feel dehydrated, I don’t absorb nutrients properly, and I have trouble retaining water in my body, but doctors have no idea what caused the autoimmune disease,” she said.

“When I was in Thailand, one minute I felt fine and the next I was drinking 20 liters of water running right through my body.”

Ms Doyle had to face the heartbreaking reality of her condition after being told she might not be able to have children and would be dependent on hormone replacement medication.

Her tumor was only 1 cm long, but it affected the functionality of the pea-sized pituitary gland in the brain, which is responsible for secreting body hormones.

“I got this prognosis at a time in my life where I was just learning to figure it all out, which fueled my desire to always go for what I want,” she said.

“It didn’t stress me out and didn’t start thinking about the implications until after I got married.”

Ms Doyle first realized something was wrong when she was 20 living in Thailand and woke up one night feeling dehydrated and no amount of water could quench her thirst

Ms Doyle first realized something was wrong when she was 20 living in Thailand and woke up one night feeling dehydrated and no amount of water could quench her thirst

Ms Doyle first realized something was wrong when she was 20 living in Thailand and woke up one night feeling dehydrated and no amount of water could quench her thirst

She now has to take medication two to three times a day every time she feels thirsty, sweats without exercising or has a runny nose

She now has to take medication two to three times a day every time she feels thirsty, sweats without exercising or has a runny nose

She now has to take medication two to three times a day every time she feels thirsty, sweats without exercising or has a runny nose

Sophie’s business tips for success:

Consider your product and supply chain

Create a product that is small, light and easy to ship to customers

Start small

Don’t immediately outsource people to do jobs, do as much as possible yourself

Have a point of difference

Invest time and money in the idea

Mrs. Doyle and her partner managed to conceive naturally and quickly, despite their initial fears that they might not be able to conceive.

She still needs to watch her body closely to determine when she needs medication, which can be up to three times a day.

“I’ve always been self-conscious enough to know what’s going on with my body and understand when my body needs the medication, but I have to be extremely careful if I take too much, I’ll end up in the hospital,” she said. .

Mrs. Doyle takes the medication if she develops an insatiable thirst, or starts to sweat without exercising, or if she has a runny nose.

She has learned to “deal” with it over the years, despite the medication being extremely complicated to handle.

The shock health diagnosis made her realize that “life is too short,” so she started her own baby goods brand Alf the Label in 2016.

“I had always worked in business for the government and never aspired to be an entrepreneur,” she said.

Ms Doyle said the shock health diagnosis made her realize that 'life is too short' so she launched her own company Alf The Label, specializing in stylish yet practical baby bags

Ms Doyle said the shock health diagnosis made her realize that 'life is too short' so she launched her own company Alf The Label, specializing in stylish yet practical baby bags

Ms Doyle said the shock health diagnosis made her realize that ‘life is too short’ so she launched her own company Alf The Label, specializing in stylish yet practical baby bags

While in hospital she was told she might not be able to have children and would be dependent on hormone replacement medication, but despite initial fears, she and her partner gave birth to two beautiful children

While in hospital she was told she might not be able to have children and would be dependent on hormone replacement medication, but despite initial fears, she and her partner gave birth to two beautiful children

While in hospital she was told she might not be able to have children and would be dependent on hormone replacement medication, but despite initial fears, she and her partner gave birth to two beautiful children

‘Since the diagnosis I have used a positive mindset of life-defining moments and realized that life is too short.’

Ms Doyle said she struggled to find a stylish yet practical baby bag after having her first child Ari.

She saw an opportunity to help other parents by designing a luxury baby bag that looked beautiful from the outside with a fully functional interior.

Five years after launching its first bag – the Stella Tote – Alf the Label is now one of Australia’s most beloved parent accessory brands, with a loyal community of over 50,000 people worldwide.

She initially thought the brand would become a minor ‘side business’, but has now been overwhelmed by its success.

After having her first child Ari, Sophie struggled to find a baby bag that matched her style while meeting her practical needs as a new parent.

After having her first child Ari, Sophie struggled to find a baby bag that matched her style while meeting her practical needs as a new parent.

The very first bag to be launched was the Stella Tote baby bag

The very first bag to be launched was the Stella Tote baby bag

Alf the Label is now one of Australia’s most beloved parent accessory brands, with a loyal community of over 50,000 people worldwide.

Ms. Doyle invested $7,000 to get the business off the ground and worked on growing the brand herself.

“If you have an idea, you can think big, you just have to be creative with the money and be willing to do everything yourself for a while instead of outsourcing,” she said.

“If you’re willing to go to extremes, you never know what you can achieve.

“More importantly, don’t let anything that affects your life get in the way of your passions.”

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