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A 12-year-old girl who was diagnosed with a life-threatening brain tumour during a routine check-up at the opticians has tragically died.
Grace Kelly was brought into Specsavers in August 2021 when opticians discovered an unusual swelling behind her eyes.
After an MRI scan, staff at Leicester Royal Infirmary diagnosed Grace with a glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) tumour the size of a 50p coin growing in her brain tissue.
Grace's family did all they could to help the young girl, bringing her back to the hospital for several courses of radiotherapy and chemotherapy, and even an eight-hour operation. But it wasn't long before a scan revealed that the tumour had grown back.
When they found a pioneering treatment in Germany that wasn't available in the UK, Grace's family launched a fundraiser in the hopes of raising £200,000 for it.
However, an update this week from Grace's mum Vanessa revealed that the 'brave and beautiful' girl had sadly passed away.
After a year-long battle with the aggressive disease, Grace died on Saturday (13 August) surrounded by her family.
Announcing the heartbreaking news to loved ones, supporters, and donors, Vanessa said: "Our brave and beautiful girl took on her cancer like a warrior, she never complained and always had a smile.
"Our perfect girl was polite, funny, brave, beautiful and smart.
"We were so lucky to have her as our daughter, and she was an amazing big sister to Marissa and Nathan. She will be missed by family and friends so much.
“All our hearts are shattered at the loss and we still can't believe she has gone. She will always be with us.
"We had 12 amazing years with Grace but it wasn't enough, we miss her already. I don't know how we will go on without her. Fly high our angel Grace."
Vanessa has previously commented on the 'distressing' lack of access her daughter had to pioneering treatments, and argued that the UK needs to make them more available.
She said: “I find it shocking and frustrating that these pioneering treatments are not available in the UK. There is something that might be able to help but we can’t access it.
“We are shocked that the standard of care for brain tumours has been the same for the last 20 years.
“It’s so distressing knowing there’s no cure for what Grace had, but we don’t want to give up. There is such a lack of funding, and we desperately need more treatments available.”
According to Brain Tumour Research, brain tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer.
Hugh Adams, head of stakeholders relations at Brain Tumour Research, said: “We’re deeply saddened to learn that Grace has died from this devastating disease and our thoughts are with all those who knew and loved her.
“We are really grateful to Vanessa and John for working with us, as it’s only with the support of people like them that we’re able to progress our research into brain tumours and improve the outcome for patients like Grace who are forced to fight this awful disease.
“Brain tumours are indiscriminate. They can affect anyone at any time.
"Too little is known about the causes and that is why increased investment in research is vital."
Anyone wishing to make a donation in Grace’s memory can do so here.