An 11-year-old girl was told that she had stage four brain cancer after a routine check-up at an opticians.

Grace Kelly from Leicestershire was excited to start secondary school, but plans quickly changed after the optician discovered a slight swelling behind her eye.

One day before school started she went for an emergency MRI scan at Leicester Royal Infirmary, which her mum Vanessa expected to only take an hour, reports Leicestershire Live.

Vanessa said: "I was a little worried but I was told it was just to be safe and we had been really busy with getting ready to go back to school.

"When the doctor had a look, he said the swelling was off-the-scale."

Grace was admitted to the children's emergency department overnight where she grew worried about missing her first day of school.

Vanessa continued: "I knew they had found something because they kept looking at her through the screen and talking to someone on the phone.

"We were pulled to a side room and told she had a brain tumour."

In shock, Vanessa was unable to call her husband John, Grace's dad, to share the news and said she instead asked the doctor to.

"Grace was in bits as well but I just tried to ease her fears," she said.

On September 3 Grace, who has two younger siblings, had surgery at the Queen's Medical Centre in Nottingham to remove the tumour.

Around 90% was removed, but Vanessa was told the precarious location of the tumour meant it could not be fully taken out.

One week later, following a biopsy, Vanessa and John received the news that Grace had stage four brain cancer.

"It was absolutely devastating, it's all still fresh for our family," Vanessa said.

She has been constantly researching Grace's condition ahead of her chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatment which is due to start in the next two weeks. The severity of Grace's tumour means it spreads quickly and is harder to treat.

Although Grace has been able to attend school on a part-time basis, she has been in and out of hospital and her mum has had to take time off work.

"She was looking forward to getting the bus to school with her friends and she was just starting to get more independence with her friends," Vanessa said.

Hannah Huggins, a friend of the family, has stepped in to raise money for Grace's future treatments.

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Hannah will be taking part in a sponsored skydive on October 20, and other friends have pitched in to plan a coffee afternoon on October 16 with a number of activities.

Families will be invited to take part in a raffle, children's games and enjoy sweet streets and refreshments. All of the money raised at the event will go to the Kelly family.

You can help the family by donating to the fundraiser here.

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