Danielle is finalist in Spirit of NI Awards

Danielle McGrisken with Specsavers Lisburn Store Director, Natalie Latham
Danielle McGrisken with Specsavers Lisburn Store Director, Natalie Latham

A Ballinderry woman whose fundraising efforts helped her raise over £100,000 for charity will find out on Friday at the Culloden Hotel if she is the winner of Spirit of Northern Ireland Awards.

Danielle McGrisken, is one of five shortlisted in the Young Person’s category 2015’s Sunday Life Spirit of Northern Ireland Awards with Specsavers. The event takes place at the Culloden Hotel.

She became an ambassador for the Brain Tumour Charity, and has become very passionate about fundraising for the charity since she was diagnosed, at the age of 14, with a brain tumour and hydrocephalus.

Shortly after her diagnosis she started raising vital funds for research into brain tumours with The Brain Tumour Charity.

She was annoyed by how little cancer research funding is spent on brain tumours.

Her fund is the first Supporter Group to be set up in Northern Ireland with The Brain Tumour Charity.

Brain tumours are the biggest cancer killer of children and adults under the age of 40 in the UK, yet it receives less than two per cent of all cancer research funding in the UK.

Danielle has had to under many operations for her hydrocephalus since her diagnosis.

The most recent of these was only last June.

Much of her teenage years were spent dealing with biopsies radiotherapy and scans. She underwent radiotherapy in January 2014, which helped to shrink the brain tumour to a total of 3mm.

All the money raised will support awareness of brain tumours through the HeadSmart Campaign and UK Research Projects accredited by AMRC Peer Review. Research projects which take place locally in NI and across the UK.

Danielle has battled on to be the driving force behind much of this staggering total.

Speaking of the awards, Specsavers Northern Ireland Chairman, Brian O’Kane said “We are delighted to sponsor the Sunday Life Spirit of Northern Ireland Awards for the fifth consecutive year and continue to be overwhelmed by the heroic tales of each of the finalists.”

All 15 nominees along with their family and friends will be invited to the gala final.

UTV will be recording all of the action from the evening for a special TV programme presented by Pamela Ballantine and Frank Mitchell who will also be hosting the event.

Louis Walsh’s hot new boyband Hometown who are tipped to be the next big thing and comic John Linehan aka May McFettridge will also be there.