A COMMUNITY is rallying around to raise £35,000 to send a teenager for life-changing surgery on a spinal deformity.

Grace Carson, 14, Lanchester, near Consett, suffers from scoliosis, which means her spine is bent, leaving her in pain a lot of the time.

Now a fundraising campaign is underway to send her for pioneering treatment in Germany.

Grace who lives with her mother, Tanya, and brother, Harry, 20, and was diagnosed in 2014, said: “I’m in pain a lot of the time and feel that I look different to my friends as I’m so much smaller than they are.

“I have a beautiful little puppy called Alfie and I love him to bits, but sometimes even walking him hurts me too much.

“I need to have an operation in Germany by November this year to straighten my spine.

“My case is really unusual due to where the curve is on my spine, so it is not a simple operation. This is why I need to go abroad to have it done.

“If I do not have it by November, the doctors will not be able to help me in the way I need them to as I will no longer meet the criteria for the surgery at all.”

Fellow pupils and teachers at St Bede’s School in Lanchester are making friendship bracelets, which have been dubbed Grace-lets

The school has donated £200 so far and the running total stands at £1,680.

A charity night with music and dancing is being held at Lanchester Social Club on Friday, July 13, from 7.30pm-10.30pm, with tickets costing £5.

It is one of several events being held over the summer, including endurance challenges, sponsored runs and tap dances, golf days, a family barbecue at the Black Bull in Lanchester on August 11 and a gala dinner organised by Miss Durham in September.

Grace’s mother, Tanya, said: “We have been completely overwhelmed, almost on a daily basis, from donations to offers of help and just general support to say ‘keep going’, from friends, family and complete strangers.

“In the last year she has taken a real knock and we have seen a deterioration in Grace. “Even the simplest of things, like getting her out of bed takes 40 to 45 minutes each morning.

“This new surgery is pioneering and will change her life completely.”

To support the campaign log on to: justgiving.com/crowdfunding/giveforgrace