Family's tribute to girl, 12, who dies from brain tumour found during optician visit

Grace Kelly was diagnosed with the brain tumour after a routine eye test last year Credit: BPM Media

A 12-year-old girl whose family discovered she had a brain tumour from a routine optician appointment has died.

Grace Kelly, who's from Leicestershire, died peacefully with her family by her side, on Saturday 13 August.

She had been looking forward to starting a new school last August when a check up led to an MRI referral that found the tumour.

Grace was diagnosed with having Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM) after the optician found swelling behind her eyes.

Her family paid tribute to the "brave and beautiful" schoolgirl who was first diagnosed with stage four cancer a year ago.

Grace’s mum, Vanessa, 32, 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."

She added: "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 and John, Grace's dad, had been campaigning with the UK charity Brain Tumour Research to raise awareness of the disease.

Grace's mother Vanessa said she was 'an amazing big sister' to Marissa (left) and Nathan Credit: Brain Tumour Research / BPM Media

They took to crowdfunding towards pioneering immunotherapy treatment in Germany after being left "frustrated" by the lack of available options for their daughter at home.Grace's parents told LeicestershireLive, in August 2021, how excited she had been to start taking the bus to school and become more independent.

The 12-year-old was an older sister to two younger siblings who "adored her".Vanessa told ITV News Central previously: "We just need the government to sink more money into it."

"We need to find a cure sooner rather than later," Grace's mum Vanessa - speaking to ITV News Central in April 2022

Vanessa added: "I mean they only get 1% of the funding, there is a lot more people with brain tumours out there, especially if it is very aggressive.

"We definitely need the funding so it can help save lives.

"There is a lot of treatment out there for breast cancer and things like that, so we need more. We can't just have the standard anymore.

"Things are progressing very quickly so it's very time sensitive especially with brain cancer.

"We need to find a cure sooner rather than later."

Brain cancer has historically been allocated just one per cent of the national cancer research funding - something Grace's family fought to raise awareness of and change alongside the Brain Tumour Research UK.

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."