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Glasgow Live
Glasgow Live
Hannah Mackenzie Wood & Keiran Fleming

Glasgow schoolgirl 'won't stop living life to the full' after rare cancer diagnosis

A Glasgow schoolgirl has vowed to not stop living life to the full after a lump on her stomach turned out to be a rare form of cancer.

Grace Callaghan, 17, received a neuroblastoma diagnosis two weeks after her 16th birthday in May 2021 and is set to undergo her second round of chemotherapy.

The teen noticed the growth on her abdomen back in December 2020, but initially ignored it. After Grace began experiencing pain in her ribs and chest, she knew she had to get it checked out, writes the Record.

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The teen was devastated to learn the growth was actually a tumour, after being referred to Queen Elizabeth University Hospital.

Grace started a gruelling course of treatments which have included chemotherapy, a stem cell transplant and two operations.

This February, Grace was told by doctors that despite the intensive treatment new scans showed that the tumour had grown again. The teen is now undergoing another round of chemotherapy but says doctors won't know if the treatment has been successful until next month.

The teen was diagnosed just after her 16th birthday (supplied)

But Grace has refused to let her health battle stop her from enjoying life - including going to see her beloved Celtic.

She said "Before I was diagnosed I was really active - I liked going to the gym and I was on the school netball team. I was always out with my friends and never really in the house.

"When I found out I had cancer, it was crazy. I didn't know what to do with myself, it didn't feel real.

"I was still doing loads of things while going through treatment - I would go out to football games and concerts.

"I just thought, 'you never know what's going to happen tomorrow', so I refused to breakdown and let it stop me."

The 17-year-old has also suffered some complications during her treatment, including her bowel becoming blocked after folding over during a 12-hour operation to remove the tumour in March 2022, resulting in her having to undergo further operations.

Immunotherapy also had to be paused after Grace began suffering from seizures in December last year.

Now Grace says all she can do is wait to find out if this round of treatment has been successful. If not, she will have to seek further treatment at a specialist hospital in England or consider joining a clinical trial.

Grace is about to undergo her second round of chemo (supplied)

Despite constantly being in and out of hospital, hard working Grace has managed to keep up with her schoolwork and is currently sitting her Higher exams - with her health battle inspiring her future career prospects.

She added: "After school, my goal is to become a nurse. It's something I've always wanted to do. It would be really nice to give back.

"The whole situation has been hard, but I've just taken it all in my stride because there's nothing else you can do at the end of the day. I try to stay positive and just get through it."


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