Pride of Britain: Suffolk mother raises thousands for music therapy in her daughter's memory

Anita Grant has been shortlisted for ITV Anglia's Regional Fundraiser of the Year Pride of Britain Award, as Raveena Ghattaura reports.

The mother of a teenager who died from cancer has raised thousands of pounds for music therapy classes to help keep her "daughter's memory alive."

Jess Grant was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a rare bone cancer, in 2014 and died four years later at the age of 15.

Music was a large part of Jess' life and helped her cope with three-and-a-half years of gruelling treatments and operations.

A music therapy session being held at Ipswich hospital Credit: ITV Anglia

Her mother Anita Grant founded the charity 'Jess Grant Celebration' to provide music therapy sessions for young people living with medical conditions.

Her efforts have seen Mrs Grant shortlisted for ITV Anglia's 2023 Regional Fundraiser of the Year Pride of Britain Award.

"I think having Jessica's charity has helped in a lot of ways - for one thing it's a way of keeping Jessica's memory alive", Mrs Grant told ITV News Anglia.

"Music was such an important part of Jess life, she absolutely loved playing music and loved listening to music and when she was having her treatments in Addenbrooke's Hospital, music therapy was such a boost for her."

"It got her through some of her darkest days and provided a lot of enjoyment when times were really tough."

Two-year-old Evie enjoying one of her music therapy sessions at Ipswich Hospital Credit: ITV Anglia

Weekly music sessions are held at Ipswich Hospital, as well as monthly sessions at St. Elizabeth Hospice in Suffolk - all thanks to funding from the charity.

Mrs Grant has helped raise more than £50,000 through marathons, cake sales and quizzes.

In June, she walked 100km in the Lake District for 30 hours straight, adding another £2,500 to her fundraising total.

Mrs Grant on her fundraising walk in the Lake District Credit: Anita Grant

The walk had extra poignancy for Mrs Grant as it is the last place Jess went on holiday.

"She is so kind, so humble, but there is also that inner passion to keep Jess' memory alive through music. And that has blown us all away", Siobhan Castle, a Health Play Specialist at Ipswich Hospital, said.

"Firstly the generosity of wanting to do that with Ipswich Hospital but also the amount of different fundraising events that she has organised, and taken part in.

"I am just completely inspired by her."

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