‘Warrior’ schoolgirl, 12, diagnosed with brain tumour after visit to Specsavers dies

A “warrior” schoolgirl diagnosed with a brain tumour after a trip to Specsavers has died as her parents attempted to raise £200,000 for pioneering treatment.

An optician noticed swelling behind 12-year-old Grace Kelly’s eyes during a routine test last year.

She underwent an MRI scan at Leicester Royal Infirmary which discovered she had a glioblastoma multiforme tumour the size of a 50p piece.

After an eight-hour operation as well as several courses of radiotherapy and chemotherapy the tumour grew back, causing her parents Vanessa and John to look elsewhere for treatment.

Finding a treatment in Germany for £200,000, they started a fundraiser but Grace died on Saturday before enough could be sought.

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.

“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.”

She added she was frustrated at having to crowdfund for the pioneering private immunotherapy treatment in Germany.

Vanessa 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.”

Brain Tumour Research says 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.”