South Woodford youngster’s hopeful message to sick children as she prepares to join X Factor star on stage

PUBLISHED: 13:46 20 October 2016

Renee Stafford aged 12 who will be singing at Wembley Stadium as part of the Rays of Sunshine Wish Choir.

Renee Stafford aged 12 who will be singing at Wembley Stadium as part of the Rays of Sunshine Wish Choir.


A courageous 12-year-old who lives with a rare disorder is getting ready to join X Factor judge Nicole Scherzinger on a world famous stage.

On Monday, Renee Stafford, of Alexander Road, South Woodford, will sing in front of 12,500 people at the SSE Arena, Wembley, with the pop star as part of the Rays of Sunshine charity’s children’s choir.

Like the charity, the youngster hopes to bring joy to the lives of children living with serious or life-limiting illnesses.

“We are hoping to raise lots of money,” said Renee.

Diagnosed with Hirschprung’s disease – a rare bowel disorder – the youngster has endured numerous operations and hospital visits.

She spent a year in hospital two days after being born, and also suffers learning difficulties from seizures she had then.

“She has short-term memory loss which can be destroying for her.

“She cannot retain information, she gets lost at school and things she will learn today, she can forget tomorrow,” mum Nina Stafford, 43, explained.

“But she does remember songs.”

Renee added: “I really like singing, I started when I was young and I also sing in two choirs at school.”

Ms Scherzinger said: “It’s an absolute honour to be a part of it. It’s going to be a fantastic show.”

And she told the Recorder she wanted to send a message to other children, who have to spend a lot of time in hospital.

“I want to give children going into hospital some advice.

“It will be OK.”

“You don’t have to panic. The doctors and nurses will look after you.”

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