A SCHOOLGIRL with an extremely rare metabolic disease who moved doctors and nurses to tears when she wrote a song to say thank you for looking after her is set to star in this year’s St Asaph Cathedral Christmas concert.

Gracie Mellalieu, 12, the only child in Wales to be diagnosed with Morquio syndrome, was over the moon to be included among the headline acts in the annual fundraising concert on December 13. Inspired by Ariana Grande, she has already written her own music including a song aged nine while she was undergoing treatment at Wrexham Maelor Hospital.

Her condition is caused by a disease that attacks the production of specific enzymes needed to break down unwanted material in the body, leading to intense pain in her joints and muscles and can restrict her breathing. However despite the seriousness of her health setbacks Gracie and her parents Yvette and Jonathan are determined that she leads as normal a life as possible.

And just weeks after her 13th birthday at the end of November she will get the chance to sing before a packed cathedral to raise money for DangerPoint, the film set-style children’s activity centre near Prestatyn which is Gracie’s favourite day out. It educates more than 7,000 young people a year about ways to stay safe through its interactive trail journey, which covers fall-risks, electrical and fire hazards in domestic, beach, countryside and playground environments – and even a life-sized road traffic zone.

“I love it there. I’ve been about 10 times. I’d go every week if I could,” said Gracie, from Mynydd Isa, near Mold. “It’s just brilliant that they asked me to help them fundraise.”

She will share the top billing with NEW Sinfonia, the flagship quartet orchestra and acclaimed Chester choir Dee-Sign which performs in British Sign Language. The brave youngster has already had brushes with stardom after a performance at Theatr Clwyd received praised from the late Ken Dodd, while she has met Katie Perry on a visit to London.

Gracie says it is her dream to one day win Britain’s Got Talent, but in the meantime she is happy to be performing whenever she can during her school studies.

DangerPoint deputy manager, Cat Harvey-Aldcroft who is organising the Christmas concert said she is “hugely excited” to have Gracie as a headline act.

“Not only is Gracie a singing superstar in the making, but she is also one of DangerPoint’s greatest fans,” she said.

“She often attends our events and loves to join in all the activities.

“Her parents tell me coming here is her favourite day out so we’re all hugely excited to have her sing at the 2019 concert. Her voice can melt hearts, it’s so evocative.”

Gracie plans to sing two festive numbers, the carol Away in a Manger, and the hit It’s Not Christmas Without You from TV show Victorious.

NEW Sinfonia viola player Robert, who suffered deafness as a child but is now hailed as one of the most promising young conductors in the UK, will also perform on the night alongside clarinetist Jonathan and wife violinist Catherine who has just landed a place with the world-famous Manchester Camarata orchestra. Russian cellist Svetlana Mochalova, a close friend, completes the quartet.

“It is an absolute delight for us to take part in the DangerPoint concert,” said Robert. “We were there last year and it was hugely uplifting, a great way to begin the festive season.

“What is so lovely about it is seeing scores of young children in the audience throwing their all into the world of music.

“I definitely urge people to get a ticket now. I promise it’ll be an unforgettable evening.”

Doors for the December 13 concert open at 6.30pm and start at 7pm. Tickets are £6 per adult and £3 per child.

To book in advance call 01745 850414 or email bookings@dangerpoint.org.uk