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Taylor Treadwell, age 2

Taylor Treadwell during the photo shoot

Taylor Treadwell was diagnosed with Rb after his aunt Geraldine spotted something unusual in a photo.

Taylor’s mum Tina had been pleased with the photos she’d taken of her 14-month-old son and planned to send them to a child modelling agency. But she first emailed them her sister Geraldine for a second opinion.

A few days later Geraldine told her sister that she’d read an article which said the glow could be a sign of cancer.

Tina looked through some other photos and noticed the white glow was in pictures going back six months. She showed the pictures to her GP who checked Taylor’s eyes and immediately referred him for further tests at hospital.

Taylor was diagnosed with retinoblastoma in both eyes. Within four months he had undergone six rounds of chemotherapy in order to save his sight.

It is now more than 18 months since Taylor was diagnosed and his condition is currently stable. He visits the Royal London hospital every few weeks for thorough check-ups under a general anaesthetic to rule out any sign of a relapse.

All the signs at the moment suggest Taylor is blind in his right eye as the tumor, while inactive, is still large and his retina is detached. He also has very little or no peripheral vision in his left eye.

Taylor’s family feel passionately about taking part in this campaign to raise awareness of the signs of retinoblastoma to help others affected by the condition get as early a diagnosis as possible and stand the best chance of having their sight saved.

More information on the signs of Rb and what to do next if you are concerned about something you have seen in a child's eye is available here.

Watch CHECT's film behind the poster campaign
- how a smart phone can save a child's life

Drew-Alexander Murray, aged four

Drew Murray during the photo shoot for the poster

Drew has bilateral retinoblastoma. He was finally diagnosed, after a number of consultations, at 18 months old.

Drew’s mother, Jennie, noticed that Drew’s right iris was considerably darker than his left, and that his eye sporadically turned inwards. She took Drew to his paediatric GP a few times, but the doctor repeatedly assured Jennie he was fine. Feeling something wasn’t quite right, Jennie insisted on a referral. But when the appointment came through, it was for three months later.

jennie knew something was wrong and after weeks of trying to get someone to look at him (with no luck) she took him to Moorfields paediatric A&E.

That’s when she finally got the diagnosis she had been battling for. That’s when her world imploded.

Within just two weeks, Drew had two general anaesthetics, had his right eye removed, and started seven months of chemotherapy to try and save the sight of his left eye.

Due to the delay in diagnosis, the tumour in Drew’s right eye had grown down his optic nerve. So when the eye was removed, part of the optic nerve had to be removed also.

Drew has had at least one general anesthetic every three weeks since he was 18 months old. He turned four last Monday.

Drew has seven tumours in his left eye at the moment, and the family still has a very, very long road ahead of them.

Above all else, Jennie encourages parents to “trust your instincts, don’t take no for an answer, and if in doubt please take your child to Moorfields paediatric A&E”.

More information on the signs of Rb and what to do next if you are concerned about something you have seen in a child's eye is available here.

Watch CHECT's film behind the poster campaign
- how a smart phone can save a child's life

Christmas cards 2014

 

 

Christmas cards

 

Do you have a school fayre, jumble sale or coffee morning coming up where you could sell CHECT Christmas  cards?

 

We can mail you a bundle of 20/25 cards (one large padded bag) or more to sell to raise funds and awareness of CHECT.

 

On average each assorted pack contains between £60-£70 worth of CHECT cards.  Each  individual pack of 10 cards averages between £1.50 - £2.00 profit for CHECT.

 

 

 

Email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with details of your event and where to send the bundles to. We do not ask for payment for the cards in advance.

 

Have you CHECT? Meet the faces behind the campaign

Taking a photo of the campaign poster

We invited children with retinoblastoma to play a vital role in our awareness campaign - as the faces on the posters their compelling images warn others about the warning signs to look out for. If you are concerned about something unusual you have seen in a child's eye or in a photograph, more information on the signs and symptoms and what to do next is available here. The white reflection in the eye is just of the six signs to be aware of.

Each of the children involved in the campaign has been through gruelling treatment for eye cancer and undergone months and even years of intensive examinations in order to save their sight and their eyes.

Here are some of their stories...

Drew Murray being filmed for poster campaign

Drew Murray

Drew was eventually diagnosed when he was just 18 months old after the symptoms had been missed by his GP several times.

Amelia Wheatcroft being filmed for poster campaign

Amelia Wheatcroft

Amelia was diagnosed when she was just a few days old and has endured chemotherapy and laser treatment to fight tumours in both eyes.

Taylor Treadwell being filmed for poster campaign

Taylor Treadwell

Taylor was just over a year old when he was diagnosed with tumours in both eyes after his aunt spotted something unusual in a photograph.

 

If you are concerned about something unusual you have seen in a child's eye, you can find more information about what to do next here.

Watch CHECT's film behind the poster campaign - how a smart phone can save a child's life

My Story - Charlene Williams

Jacob Wright playing in the sand

Jacob was diagnosed with Rb in August 2013, when he was just 12 weeks old.

As with every parent who finds out their baby has something wrong, our world came crashing down. He had his eye removed a week later, and was to start chemotherapy two weeks after that. In such a short space of time we had to learn about general anaesthetics, port-a-caths, chemo, blood counts, artificial eyes and laser therapy.

I just wanted to scream.

Being a new mum and having your three-month-old diagnosed with cancer was all too much.  My sister Sophie told me about the Carrots Nightwalk just after Jacob's diagnosis and we signed up straightaway. I didn't have a clue what I was signing myself up for, I just jumped at the chance of a distraction, something else to focus on while the rest of me was falling to pieces.

My mum and best friend Adele signed up with us and we went on a fundraising frenzy. I hadn't told anyone about Jacob and what was happening, so announcing it through sharing our Just Giving page was a quick and easy way to do it and really get people interested and sponsoring us.

There were obviously lots of questions and people asking about Rb and how else they could help and going over it to everyone was tiring, but I just went into autopilot. It was really important to me for Jacob to be surrounded by positive, happy parents, the same ones he had known for the first three months of his life. We just got on with the treatments and hospital trips as though they were completely normal and that's what our life was.

Charlene Williams with friends at the Carrots Nightwalk in 2013

People's generosity was absolutely unbelievable. I expected people to donate one or two pounds each and raise around £200 in total. When I woke up the next day and we had already received over £500 in sponsors, I almost had a heart attack. It was so emotional reading everyone's messages they would leave but it really made me see how amazing people can be. The sponsors kept on coming and by the day of the walk we were up to over £6000.

The walk was really good fun and I met some amazing people who really helped me see that life does go on and you don't have to let Rb ruin your life. I have stayed in touch with a couple of mums and look forward to seeing everyone again at the walk this year.  We have still got a really long way to go before Jacob will be given the all clear but fundraising, raising awareness and chatting to other families going through the same really does make it a little bit easier.

You can read more about Jacob's journey through Charlene's blog, Through Jacob's Eyes at www.jacobknoxwright.blogspot.co.uk

Carrots nightwalk logoIf you'd like to help raise funds for CHECT like Charlene, you could register to take part in this year's Carrots Nightwalk here.

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