Gracie’s Christmas miracle
“No child should wake up on Christmas morning without their family around them.”
Throughout the festive rush there is often an unsung hero; a star that shines brighter than the one that tops your tree – family.
As many of us are sadly aware, our loved ones may not always be around to make Christmas magical. For Gracie Butler’s family, this almost became a reality, when at just 18 years old she was diagnosed with cancer.
Christmas had always been a favourite time of the year for Gracie, but diagnosis followed by aggressive chemotherapy and radiotherapy, was a bewildering time when she was told that she would
be going through cancer treatment and spending Christmas in hospital.
Thanks to the “exceptional care” she received at Weston Park Hospital, Gracie and her family were supported throughout the journey they faced to remain by each other’s side, and that difficult Christmas was made a little more magical when Gracie was able to return home just in time for Christmas Eve.
“It was when they said the word ‘cancer’ that it hit me. I felt numb.”
In 2011, Gracie Butler from South Anston was diagnosed with spindle cell sarcoma – a rare malignant cancerous tumour which can develop in the bone or soft tissue – and was put under the care of the Teenage and Young Adult team at Weston Park Hospital.
“When you’re first diagnosed, you can’t focus on what’s going on; but Weston Park is an amazing place and all of the support I received was beyond brilliant.
“The nurses, doctors, radiographers and all the healthcare specialists couldn’t have done enough for me – there is no way through cancer without them.
Gracie’s battle lasted for more than a year, before she was given the all-clear in 2013.
“As soon as I walked into Weston Park I knew it was different from a normal hospital. If you’re having a bad day, it’s great to have someone there that you know who can pick
you up; it’s not just about your treatment but making sure you are mentally as well as physically ok.
“Being stuck in hospital doesn’t help your mood; so being able to have my friends and family by my side lifted my spirits and made it feel more like home.”
Gracie’s star will be shining bright this Christmas. But there are many families across the region that will be living through a festive season with cancer.
That’s why this Christmas, Weston Park Cancer Charity is asking for your help, so we can keep more families like Gracie’s together for longer.
Will you help to make sure Weston Park Cancer Charity can be there for everyone who needs support by making a donation to our Christmas Star Appeal? Donate to our Christmas Star Appeal today >