Mum pays tribute to brave Ross

A MOTHER last night paid tribute to the bravery of her fun-loving and football-mad teenage son who has lost his battle against cancer. Talented footballer Ross Brace, 15, was diagnosed with Ewing's-sarcoma in March 2004 and underwent a gruelling course of radiotherapy and chemotherapy in a bid to beat the disease, which affects bones.

A MOTHER last night paid tribute to the bravery of her fun-loving and football-mad teenage son who has lost his battle against cancer.

Talented footballer Ross Brace, 15, was diagnosed with Ewing's-sarcoma in March 2004 and underwent a gruelling course of radiotherapy and chemotherapy in a bid to beat the disease, which affects bones.

Ross, who lived in Springfield, near Chelmsford, was a big supporter of Chelsea and during his time at the Middlesex Hospital in London he met the club's captain, Frank Lampard on a visit.

At a game afterwards Lampard invited Ross and his friends to the players' lounge, buying them drinks and introducing them to his team-mates.


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And even during his illness, Ross and his family threw themselves into fundraising, making £800 for the Teenage Cancer Trust from a sponsored massage.

Ross played for Springfield Football Club as well as the Boswell School in Chelmsford.

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His mother, Carole, said her son battled up to his death earlier this month and at his funeral, on Monday, more than 200 mourners packed Chelmsford Crematorium.

She said: “He did not let anything get him down - of course he was devastated when he first learnt about it but on the hospital wards he met other youngsters going through similar things and it made him more determined to beat it.”

In January last year the family was told Ross had been given the all-clear and he started trying to live a normal life again, even returning to school.

But then in November the news the family had been dreading came - the cancer had returned in the teenager's pelvis again.

“You pray and hope it won't come back in your child - it was quite a shock because he was back at school but he was so determined to fight it,” Mrs Brace said.

But in February he was struck down by a massive bleed which hospitalised him, and although his condition then deteriorated, he wanted to go home.

“There were four occasions when he was ever so weak and his breathing was shallow and he could go any day.

“But then he would sit up and say he fancied having a Chinese meal and even though he could not walk he was determined and would not give up,” Mrs Brace said.

David Crowe, Ross' headteacher at the Boswell School, said: “Ross was a wonderful asset to the school.

“He was full of fun, had a wide circle of close friends and very much lived life to the full.

“He played football for the school and for Springfield, always competing with his customary enthusiasm.

“He fought his illness with great courage and bravery, never complaining, and was always determined to continue his GCSE studies.

“His enthusiasm to do well at school never left him. He will be greatly missed.”

Ross also leaves behind his dad, Paul, brother, Ben, 13, and sister, Leanne, 20.

n Donations to the Teenage Cancer Trust can be made by sending a cheque payable to Teenage Cancer Trust to TCT, 38 Warren Street, London, W1T 6AE or by calling TCT on 020 7387 1000.

The family are also raising money for the mid-Essex MRI appeal. Donations can be made by sending a cheque payable to Children's MRI Appeal, Charity Office, Broomfield Hospital, Court Road, Broomfield, CM1 7ET.

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