Ill youngster battles on to help others

PRIDE OF WEARSIDE ... Grace Kemp who suffers from neurofibrematosis has been nominated for Child of Courage award.

PRIDE OF WEARSIDE ... Grace Kemp who suffers from neurofibrematosis has been nominated for Child of Courage award.

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OUR Pride of Wearside is continuing to inspire those around her.

Despite undergoing her own battle against ill health, Grace Kemp, eight, is throwing herself into helping others.

The County Durham youngster, who won one of the Echo’s Children of Courage Awards in November, has pledged to support The Indee Rose Trust, which helps children diagnosed with a brain or spinal tumour.

Grace herself has been plagued by tumours.

At just 18 months, her family were devastated to learn that she had a condition called neurofibrematosis, and is susceptible to growing tumours on nerve endings on any part of her body.

Grace was dealt a further blow at the age of two when it was discovered a piece of bone was missing from her left arm, which meant she had to undergo a nine-hour operation to transplant bone from her leg to replace it.

As if that wasn’t enough, a routine eye test at the age of four revealed she had a tumour on both optic nerves.

The youngster embarked on an intense course of chemotherapy, but her vision has been left impaired.

Yet Grace refuses to let illness get the better of her and she is hoping to raise as much money as possible for The Indee Rose Trust.

Mum Judith said: “Grace is doing absolutely fantastic at the minute, but when she was poorly last year she received a treasure chest from The Indee Rose Trust and it really helped to cheer her up. They sent one to her when she was receiving treatment and it had a bear inside for being brave which she loves.

“The charity sends these chests to children like Grace who have tumours.”

In the coming months, Grace, who has also enlisted the help of her local Co-op store, is helping to organise a psychic night, a parachute jump, a charity night, a sponsored walk and an Easter raffle.

The Neville’s Cross Primary School pupil is also helping to sell wrist bands for the charity.

Judith added: “She wanted to give something back to the charity which helped her.”

•For more information on Grace’s fund-raising efforts email judithkemp@ymail.com. For more details on the charity visit www.indeerosetrust.org.

Twitter: @sunechokaty