An inspirational youngster with cancer took home The Emily Mott Child of Courage Award at the My Local Heroes awards 2019.
The My Local News award ceremony, which took place on March 29, brought the community together to pay tribute to local heroes and raise money for important local charities.
The Emily Mott Child of Courage Award, named after a 13-year-old who bravely fought a rare form of cancer until her death in 2014, was presented to Chalfont St Peter schoolgirl, Grace Gaskell, by Natasha Kirby from Boys & Girls Nursery.
Grace was diagnosed with a brain tumour in July last year, and has dealt with the illness in an admirable fashion, quickly becoming an inspiration to others.
Her mother, Rebecca Gaskell, spoke for an emotional Grace as they went up on stage to accept the award together.
She said: “I just want to say thank you very much for nominating Grace. We call her Amazing Grace because she literally is.
“When Grace was diagnosed with cancer, she said, ‘I want to be the positive face of cancer’, and that’s exactly what she is.”
In an interview with My Local News prior to the ceremony, Rebecca discussed Grace’s situation in more detail.
She said: “Her first symptoms were pins and needles, which we didn’t take too much notice of. We thought it was too much writing at school. But it started to happen quite often, moving up her arm and quickly proceeding onto sensory seizures (unusual electrical activity in the brain).
“She’s amazing and we are coping – our everyday is not morbid and sad. She is Amazing Grace – nothing stops her. She has not complained, she just gets on with it.”
“When she was first diagnosed she said she felt like she’d been given cancer for a reason – to inspire other people. That was hard to hear, but she inspires people every day. I hope she makes a change and that something good comes out of it.
“The community has been amazing and massively supportive. We cope because of the people around us and the support of our community and church.”
Picture courtesy of Hoss Photography