Grace Bunke was diagnosed with a rapidly spreading bone cancer at 11 years old. But that did stop her from doing what she loved and inspiring everyone around her.
As part of her treatment, she completed 18 rounds of chemotherapy, two lung surgeries, and underwent a unique partial leg amputation called rotationplasty, in which the leg is shortened and rotated backwards so that the heal can serve as knee joint when a prosthetic leg is worn.
Despite relapsing in 2016, Grace continued to thrive in competitive swimming, a sport she’d taken up and developed an infinitely for.
She also served as an advocate for Rally Foundation, which empowers volunteers to raise funds and awareness for childhood cancer. Although Grace had every reason to become overwhelmed by what ailed her, she instead chose to inspire the masses by doing what she loved, smiling through her circumstance, and sharing her story so that kids like her can get better medical treatment in the future.
Childhood cancer research is incredibly underfunded — only four percent of the budget from the National Institute of Health goes toward it. Fortunately, there are people like Grace who are fighting to ensure children get the care they deserve.