A Cheshire girl diagnosed with cancer as a baby will be the VIP guest at Race for Life at Tatton Park this weekend.
Grace Elvidge, from Mobberley near Wilmslow, will ring the starter bell at the Cancer Research UK event on Sunday before taking part in the 5km with her mum Alex.
At just 11 weeks old, Grace was diagnosed with an advanced form of leukaemia and was placed in intensive care at Manchester Children’s Hospital.
As a baby, Grace faced months of gruelling chemotherapy, had to be fed through a tube and was hooked to machines to help her breathe. She was so poorly that she spent much of the first year of her life in hospital.
Her mother Alex said: “It was a complete shock when the doctor told us that Grace had cancer. Things were very touch and go and it was a really difficult time. I still get emotional thinking about it now.
“When you’re a new mum you just don’t imagine that this sort of thing could happen to your little baby. It simply isn’t part if the plan.
“Those first few weeks and months are a blur. What should have been the happiest time of our lives turned into one of the toughest times.”
After successful treatment, her cancer is now in remission and she is enjoying life as a healthy, happy and sporty seven-year-old.
Alex, 39, added: “I’m so proud of Grace. She’s grown up to be a lovely little girl who is confident, kind and a bundle of joy. She loves taking part in activities at school, especially dance classes.
“We are extremely grateful for the medical treatment and scientific research that has helped her get this far.
“Because of our personal experience, Cancer Research UK is a charity that is very close to our hearts and Grace is excited to be starting the event at this year’s Race for Life.”
The Elvidge family now want to encourage other men, women and children to join them by registering at raceforlife.org.
This year the Race for Life events, which previously were women-only, are now open to men.