Charity founded by inspirational teenager Grace Boxall funding ‘groundbreaking’ £58,000 project

Peter and Karen Boxall are funding a �58,000 project for children with spinal lipoma through their l

Peter and Karen Boxall are funding a �58,000 project for children with spinal lipoma through their late daughter Grace's charity Smiles with Grace - Credit: Archant

The family of an inspirational teenager who set up her own charity before losing her battle with cancer have spoken about a “groundbreaking” £58,000 project it is funding.

Grace Boxall, who lost her battle with brain cancer more than a year ago

Grace Boxall, who lost her battle with brain cancer more than a year ago - Credit: Archant

Smiles with Grace, set up by brave Grace Boxall, is sponsoring a project seeking to develop a test for children with spinal lipoma.

The Chigwell School pupil – a winner of the Recorder/Redbridge Rotary Club Young Citizen award – lost her six-year battle with brain cancer on September 26 2013, aged 15.

Her parents Peter and Karen are collaborating with ­Dominic Thompson, Grace’s neurosurgeon at Great Ormond Street Hospital, and Prof Andy Copp, from the ­Institute of Child Health at University College London.

Peter said: “A year ago we wrote to lots of professionals we had met and asked if they had any projects we could support.

Peter and Karen Boxall at University College London (UCL) handing over the cheque of almost �58,000

Peter and Karen Boxall at University College London (UCL) handing over the cheque of almost �58,000 to Prof Andy Copp, from the Institute of Child Health at UCL, and Dominic Thompson, their daughter Grace's neurosurgeon at Great Ormond Street Hospital. Grace, who died of brain cancer in 2013, set up charity Smiles with Grace, which is collaborating on a project with the two medical professionals to help children with spinal lipoma. [Picture: Peter Boxall] - Credit: Archant


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“Dominic came back and said he would like to ­develop this research and it went from there.”

The aim is to develop a blood or urine test which children could take when first diagnosed with spinal lipoma – lesions on their spinal cords.

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The test would show doctors if a child was at a high or low risk of deterioration, meaning they could judge which patients needed early surgery.

Peter, of Buckhurst Hill, said: “We didn’t expect to have such a prominent project and that’s what we are feeling excited about.

“It could be groundbreaking.”

He added: “Grace wanted the charity to continue and she would have been very proud.”

Visit smileswithgrace.org.

Read more:

Nine-mile walk in memory of Grace Boxall raises more than £4,000

Much-loved teenager Grace Boxall remembered on first anniversary of her death

Inspirational teenager Grace Boxall loses battle with brain cancer days before 16th birthday

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