Ultramarathon in memory of “beautiful” niece

2 min read

A Leicestershire man is running an ultramarathon in memory of his “beautiful” 12-year-old niece who died from a brain tumour.

Grace Kelly, from Great Glen, died from a glioblastoma (GBM) in August 2022. She was diagnosed with the highly aggressive brain tumour, which has a devastatingly short prognosis of 12 to 18 months, following a routine trip to Specsavers in Wigston.

Her uncle, Michael Parr, 32, also from Great Glen, is taking on the 100km (62 mile) challenge from London to Brighton on Saturday 25th May to raise money to help find a cure.

Michael said: “I’m doing this in memory of Grace. She was my first niece and I thought of her as if she was my own child. When she died, it broke my heart, and it still does. She was such a beautiful and nice young girl; she was so caring and kind, and she always had a positive attitude. I miss her every day.”

Following Grace’s diagnosis in August 2021, surgeons at Queen’s Medical Centre (QMC) in Nottingham managed to remove about 80% of the tumour.

Grace underwent radiotherapy and chemotherapy. Her parents, Vanessa and John, had also been trying to crowdfund £200,000 to go to Germany for pioneering private immunotherapy treatment which is unavailable on the NHS. Since Grace died, they have taken on various challenges to fund research.

Brain tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer. Yet  just 1% of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to this devastating disease since records began in 2002.

Michael, an electrician, added: “You never think something like this will affect your own family but then this just hit us. After everything Grace went through, I’m determined to help find a cure by raising as much as I can to support research.”

To donate to Michael’s JustGiving page, visit: justgiving.com/page/michael-parr-1712680888110

Related reading:

Back to Latest News