Battling Woodford schoolgirl,13 nominated for Young Citizen

A girl who has battled brain cancer since turning 10 has founded a charity to raise money for other children with debilitating illnesses.

Grace Boxall, 13, lost her voice and her hair as she underwent 33 sessions of radiotherapy after being diagnosed with a high grade brain tumour in October 2007.

She is now in remission and earlier this year founded the charity Smiles with Grace.

Earlier this month she walked with 80 others from her Buckhurst Hill home to Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH), raising more than �9,000 for charity.

Her fundraising work has this week seen her nominated for the Recorder/Rotary Young Citizen Award, sponsored by Exchange Ilford.

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The 18km fundraising walk saw friends and teachers from Chigwell School, High Road, Ilford, take part in the sponsored trek.

The youngster, who used to go to Woodford Green Preparatory School, Glengall Road, Woodford Green, is donating the money to a number of good causes including GOSH, Redbridge charity Hopes and Dreams which grants wishes to children with life-limiting illnesses, and the research fund of her neurosurgeon Dominic Thompson.

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Grace said: “I’ve gone through the whole of the NHS and been through treatments such as chemotherapy and operations.

“I wanted to give something back but I didn’t want it [money raised] to go into one pot of money like Cancer Research. I wanted to give it to specific causes.”

She added: “I’m thinking of making a booklet to give to hospitals. Not for the medical side but the patients and the parents to give information on the treatments and the different people you have to see.”

In the past two years, grace has raised more than �5,000 by taking part in walks for Cancer Research UK.

Her father Peter, 51, said: “Grace is very much aware of other sick children and she wants to raise money and help them.”

He added: “It’s incredible considering what she’s been through.”

To visit her charity’s website, log on to

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