'I wish there was a cure': 12-year-old diagnosed with cancer during optician visit

  • Video report by Mark Kielesz-Levine

A 12-year-old girl is calling for more investment and funds dedicated to brain tumour research and treatment after she was diagnosed with having Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM).

Grace Kelly was at a routine eye check when the optician found swelling behind her eyes.

Tests at the hospital confirmed she had a brain tumour.

When Grace was diagnosed, she was just about to start Year 7 at secondary school and was looking forward to being with her friends.

Eight months on, Grace's family face a battle to fund life-saving treatment. 

The NHS tackles brain tumours using chemotherapy and radiotherapy, but treatment plans have not changed in years.

Whilst immunotherapy is an option, it is not available for someone lIke Grace in the UK.

'I just wish there was a cure - it's horrible', Grace tells ITV Central

Her mum, Vanessa, and the rest of the family must now try and raise £200,000 so that Grace can have treatment in Germany - which they believe will give her the best possible chance. 

For Vanessa, she's concerned there are people out there just like her daughter, missing out because funding appears to be so low.

This has been echoed by the charity, Brain Tumour Research, who are also calling for urgent action.

The feeling is that there is a discrepancy in investment between different types of cancer.

This was something that pop star Tom Parker from The Wanted also publicised - Tom died recently from the same type of tumour Grace has, after being diagnosed in 2020.

Tom appeared on This Morning back in October with wife Kelsey to campaign for better options not currently available on the NHS

He used his platform to campaign for better treatments for those suffering brain traumas.

He told an All-Party Parliamentary Group on Brain Tumours in December: "I’m staggered they can find a cure for Covid within a year but, for decades on end, they haven’t found better treatments let alone a cure for brain tumours.

"Why is it taking so long for clinical trials to come through?"

Meeting Grace for the first time, you would never assume anything is wrong. She's a lovely, friendly child who likes chatting to people and playing her favourite game Fortnight on the Xbox.

But weekly hospital visits are now part of her life and she has yet to be in school fully since August of last year, but occasionally goes in to have lunch with her friends.

She's an exceptionally brave and kind-hearted girl and when I was there, speaking to her, she spoke from the heart about what life was like living with cancer for her.

"We need to find a cure sooner rather than later," says Grace's mum Vanessa

There is however much optimism in the family. Grace is doing well and there's a determination to raise the money to take her to Germany.

Vanessa is also planning to run a marathon's worth of miles in May to raise money for charity whilst also keeping up with fundraising for Grace. 

Until that point where either the situation changes or they hit their target, Grace will go back for chemotherapy, determined to fight the cancer and return to school.