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Strictly Fab-u-lous: The 11-year-old whose danceathon has raised nearly £11,000 for cancer

Strictly It Takes Two’s Zoe Ball hailed Gruff Crowther a 'Superstar'

Emily Stedman

Strictly Come Dancing superfan Gruff Crowther has been busy busting some moves for a kind cause, helping to raise an incredible amount of money for CLIC Sargent – the UK’s leading cancer charity for children and young people. Donning his dancing shoes, the 11-year-old from Wales embarked on a 12-hour danceathon, grooving to hits by Dua Lipa, The Script and his favourite song I Predict a Riot by the Kaiser Chiefs in aid of a personal cause.

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Gruff's 12-hour danceathon has raised nearly £11,000

Reflecting on his marathon mission, Gruff told HELLO!: "I love Strictly, and Tess and Claudia did a great job for charity, so I thought 'Wow, I want to try and do something like them'. I had loads of snacks through the day but, yes, I was really tired! My legs were really aching so we tried a cooling gel on one leg and heating gel on the other; heating gel definitely did the trick!"

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News of Gruff’s fundraiser has spread online, with Strictly It Takes Two host Zoe Ball praising him for his charitable efforts. "Well done @GruffCrowther on your 12 hr danceathon for @CLIC_Sargent! you superstar," she tweeted, also inviting Gruff on her Radio 2 show to chat about his challenge.

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Zoe Ball praised Gruff for his charitable efforts

Gruff has been blown away by the response to his danceathon, raising just under £11,000 to date: "It's amazing how many people wanted to get involved, I'm very grateful to everyone. My first goal was £100, and I was so surprised when we did that within the first hour. I never expected it would raise so much, it's brilliant!"

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Gruff was diagnosed with a brain tumour aged five in September 2014, starting chemotherapy shortly after, with his tumour responding well to treatment. Grateful for all the support shown by CLIC Sargent during his chemotherapy, Gruff has been fundraising since, wanting to give back to the charity during these difficult times.

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Gruff even committed to the Strictly hair and makeup with his bold wig!

Dad Richard Crowther highlighted the difficulties charities like CLIC Sargent are currently facing: "Charities have lost tens of millions of funding due to coronavirus cancellations. CLIC Sargent expects an £8 million shortfall, and without this funding they must make cuts to essential services, to ensure they survive. I'm devastated that this will make things even more difficult for families already dealing with a heart-breaking diagnosis."

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"We're so proud of how he thinks of others and wants to help people who are having a tough time, like he did,” he added. "I'm not sure where his ideas come from, but he's always determined, and we do our best to support him!"

To find out more and donate visit: justgiving.com/fundraising/gruffcan