Horsham teenage eye cancer survivor thanks charity fundraisers

JPCT 150114 s14030429x Horsham. Olivia, 16-year-old eye cancer survivor at Vision Express to thank the team for their fundraising efforts -photo by Steve Cobb
JPCT 150114 s14030429x Horsham. Olivia, 16-year-old eye cancer survivor at Vision Express to thank the team for their fundraising efforts -photo by Steve Cobb

A teenager who survived a rare form of eye cancer has thanked staff at Vision Express opticians in Horsham for raising money for an eye cancer charity.

Olivia Deane, 16, from Horsham, who was diagnosed with unilateral retinoblastoma aged 12, was presented with a cheque for £1,362 for the Childhood Eye Cancer Trust (CHECT).

The money was raised by employees at the Horsham store.

She said: “It really makes me happy that people are made aware of retinoblastoma and other things.

“If things like this are done people are more aware of what is going on and to raise money.”

Olivia’s rare condition made national headlines and resulted in her losing an eye.

It also helped to inspire Vision Express employees to raise money for CHECT.

Horsham employee Rob Eatwell was part of a team of fundraisers who completed a gruelling 200-mile, three-day cycle challenge.

Addressing Olivia, he said: “I’m not sure how I would cope with that so my hat goes off to you. I’m always in awe of people like you.”

He added: “To meet Olivia is very special, it does bring it to the forefront when you meet these people.

“For people like Olivia, CHECT gives them the ability to have a normal life and have help and support - not just for them but their families as well.”

A national drive by Vision Express raised more than £50,000 for CHECT, the nominated charity of the optician.

CHECT provide early diagnosis, raise awareness and support families.