A BRAVE seven-year-old who fought bone cancer has been chosen as Scotland’s face of Britain’s Biggest Breakfast this spring.
Grace Newton is urging Scots to sign up for Cancer Research UK’s new fundraising campaign which calls on supporters to host or attend a breakfast event on Friday March 11, or any time during the month and raise money to help beat cancer sooner.
The charity is encouraging people to organise a breakfast party at home, in the office or at school and invite their friends and family to make a donation to attend.
Grace, of Grangemouth, was just five when diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma in February 2014 after doctors discovered a tumour in her right arm.
Her parents, Janet, 30, and Mark, 38, waited anxiously as Grace endured a 10 hour operation at the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Glasgow to remove the tumour. Grace’s courage during almost a year of chemotherapy inspired her family and friends to fundraise tirelessly for Cancer Research UK.
Mum Janet said: “My outstanding, beautiful, amazing Grace completed her 14th and final cycle of chemotherapy 326 days after being diagnosed with cancer.
“Grace always had the biggest smile on her face and never complained through any of the treatments. We were very honest with Grace about cancer. She knew she had to have chemotherapy and that it would make her hair fall out. But they say children often handle cancer better than adults. Chemotherapy and cancer are just words to children with no deeper meaning and Grace coped amazingly well.”
Only three months in to treatment, Grace was invited back stage at pop princess Katy Perry’s sell out concert in Glasgow to meet the Roar singer. She also received a signed photo from Katy Perry saying, “To Grace, you’re my firework.”
Weeks later Grace clutched a giant pink balloon in the shape of a star with the words, “Amazing Grace” on it as she took part in Race for Life Falkirk with four generations of her family, raising more than £1,200.
And last summer, Grace was invited back as VIP for Race for Life Falkirk, sounding the horn to set the participants off in the event which saw her brother Kieran, then 12, finish fourth, completing the course in an impressive 21 minutes and 20 seconds. Now Grace who returned to school last September is proud to support Britain’s Biggest Breakfast by Cancer Research UK.
Janet said: “Cancer changes your whole life.
“Once treatment finishes you hope to get back to normal but it’s a new normal, a different normal. When you’re on a hospital ward with other families going through cancer then you become like a family. Each journey is different but you can understand what other parents are going through.
“To any parent of a child diagnosed with cancer, I’d say never give up hope and always believe. Trust the doctors and amazing team of nurses to get your child better. The main tumour in Grace’s arm was completely removed and her response to chemotherapy was considered excellent. Grace has three small tumours remaining on her lungs but they’re considered dead and stable tumours. Doctors will keep a close eye on them for the next four years.
“Hopefully there will be no changes to them and Grace will go in to remission.
“Grace still struggles with bone pain and tiredness but it will take the next year or so to get back to her fully functioning self but she’s well on her way. Nothing can stop Grace and I couldn’t be prouder.”
Lisa Adams, Cancer Research UK spokeswoman for Scotland, said: “We’d like to thank Grace and her mum Janet for serving up a tasty spread for Britain’s Biggest Breakfast.
“We’re urging Scots to follow their lead and invite friends, family and neighbours to take a seat at the breakfast table. A hearty breakfast is a great way to start the day, so it’s time to set the alarm and make your breakfast bigger and better than ever this March. Every step we take towards beating cancer relies on every hour of research, every pound donated and every person who gets involved.
“That’s why we’re rallying Scots to work up an appetite in the fight against cancer. From porridge pros to avocado aficionados, everyone can bring something to the table and help raise much-needed funds for life-saving research.”
To sign up and get a free fundraising pack, visit cruk.org/breakfast