A BRAVE mum of two who had skin cancer surgery just a week after giving birth took up boxing to raise thousands of pounds for a cancer charity.

Grace McGuire was diagnosed with melanoma 37 weeks into her pregnancy after a doctor noticed a small mole on her arm.

Just a week later she gave birth to daughter Brooke, now seven. The 30-year-old had surgery to remove the cancer.

“My mum was sat outside in the waiting room with my newborn baby girl,” Grace said.

“It was an extremely difficult time.

“I was really lucky as a doctor just happened to notice a small mole on my arm which she didn’t like the look of.

“She had it checked and it turned out to be malignant melanoma.”

Seven years later, the personal trainer from Woodingdean has taken up boxing to push herself to her limit, raising nearly £2,000 for Cancer Research in the process.

Grace trained hard for eight weeks before competing in front of hundreds of onlookers at the Grand hotel as part of an Ultra White Collar Boxing event.

But it was not just a personal journey for her.

Three weeks before Grace’s fight, grandmother Valerie Longhurst was given the all-clear after a cancer scare.

So at the fight in September, she walked out to Valerie by Amy Winehouse.

Meanwhile her grandfather Ronald has fought cancer for ten years.

Grace said: “My grandad has also had his own ten year long battle with spinal cancer.

“Because of the number of surgeries he’s had, he now has a spine made mostly of metal.”

Throwing herself into gruelling training for the fight, Grace gave it her all.

“When I first started I had no clue what I was doing,” she said.

“I wasn’t even really that fit, even though I was a bodybuilder, because that just involved bending down and picking up really heavy things.”

“Boxing, for me, is a positive way for me to give back to a charity that keeps people like me alive.”

At the big night at the Grand, Grace finally took to the ring.

But she twisted her knee during the bout and the match was declared no contest.

“After all that training and preparation, I sort of feel like I haven’t got to do it properly,” Grace said.

“Once I’ve recovered I’m planning on coming back and doing another Ultra event.

“I loved every second of it, to the point that I haven’t and won’t stop boxing. My goal is to fight at amateur level.”