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Gracie's story

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.

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.

Gracie 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.

“No child should wake up on Christmas morning without their family around them.”

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.

“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.

Thanks to the “exceptional care” she received at Weston Park, 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.

“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.

“The miracle conceived after cancer.”

Gracie had always dreamt of having a family of her own, but was warned that the aggressive treatment she received would leave her unable to have children. Four years after treatment, however, Gracie defied the odds, and gave birth to her “miracle” baby boy, Roux.

“We were told that the chance of conceiving after chemotherapy was non-existent and that due to the urgency of treatment, there was no time to plan an ulterior course of action. So when I found out I was pregnant, I didn’t know what to say; there I was, pregnant with our miracle baby. It was just meant to be.”

Gracie’s star will be shining brightly again 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, we're asking for your help, so we can keep more families like Gracie’s together for longer.

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