FOUNDER – GRACE BOXALL
1st October 1997 – 26th September 2013
October 2007 Grace was diagnosed with a brain tumour. After months of exhaustive treatment in Great Ormond Street (GOSH); surgery, radio therapy & chemo, Grace was declared to be in remission. She then set out to help others. In 2009 & 2010 Grace took part in Cancer Research’s Race for Life and raised thousands of pounds. Deciding that she wanted greater control of where any funds she raised were placed; ‘Smiles with Grace’ was formed in 2011. The charity’s inaugural event was a walk from her home to GOSH and raised over £10,000.
Her efforts saw Grace awarded Redbridge’s Young Citizen of the Year in 2012. Along with many other events a second walk was planned for July 2012, unfortunately Grace was struck down with a near fatal brain haemorrhage just days before this took place. The walk went ahead and reached GOSH whilst Grace was in a coma in their Intensive Care Unit. During her rehabilitation Grace desperately wanted the good work of Smiles to continue. In February 2013 Grace had a Sarcoma tumour removed and endured 6 sessions of industrial Chemo. Despite this she continued to look ahead. Incredibly and emotionally Grace returned to school in September.
Just a week later though she was unmercifully struck down again with another bleed in the brain; this time there was no recovery, Grace passed away at 4.30pm on Thursday 26th September in Great Ormond Street Hospital. Grace’s courage and bravery were an inspiration to many and the hundreds who attended her funeral bore testimony to this. ‘Smiles with Grace’ is Grace’s legacy and she will be remembered for this and much more.