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Fundraising is a ‘big deal’ for kind South Woodford youngster

PUBLISHED: 11:31 17 November 2016 | UPDATED: 16:31 18 November 2016

Renee Stafford aged 12 sang at the SSE Wembley Stadium as part of the Rays of Sunshine Wish Choir.

Renee Stafford aged 12 sang at the SSE Wembley Stadium as part of the Rays of Sunshine Wish Choir.

Archant

A courageous 12-year-old put her day-to-day difficulties aside to raise cash for charity by singing in front of thousands of people.

Renee Stafford, back row far left, with Nicole Scherzinger, centre, and members of the Rays of Sunshine Wish Choir.Renee Stafford, back row far left, with Nicole Scherzinger, centre, and members of the Rays of Sunshine Wish Choir.

Last month, Renee Stafford, 12, of Alexandra Road, South Woodford, joined other children and X Factor’s Nicole Scherzinger to sing two songs on the SSE Arena, Wembley stage.

The youngster, who battles the effects of the rare Hirschprung’s Disease, formed part of children’s charity Rays of Sunshine’s choir.

“It was really fun,” she said.

“More than 10,000 people were there.”

Renee, along with her choir members, sang Ain’t No Mountain High Enough and Fight Song with the international pop star for the charity, which brightens the lives of sick children by granting wishes and organising large-scale events.

The youngster knows better than most how daunting hospitals can be, and her positive attitude has landed her a Recorder/Redbridge Rotary Club Young Citizen Award nomination.

Renee’s Mum Nina, 43, realised all was not well when Renee, as a newborn, failed to pass any meconium – a baby’s earliest stool.

“We took her back to the hospital and she totally collapsed,” said Nina.

“She was dying.”

Renee then contracted E.coli and suffered a 24-hour period of continuous seizures, leaving her with short-term memory.

“She gets lost at school and things she will learn today, she can forget tomorrow, ” added Nina.

But Renee’s difficulties have done nothing to dampen the caring youngster she is today.

“Raising money is a big deal for me,” she said. “Some people don’t have any money so for me, raising money will help them.”


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