Campaign for eye tests to spot cancer a ‘success’

Keira Dixon,  who was diagnosed with a brain tumour following an opticians appointment. ANL-140624-101216001
Keira Dixon, who was diagnosed with a brain tumour following an opticians appointment. ANL-140624-101216001

A campaign to raise awareness of the importance of eye examinations following the diagnosis of a teenage girl’s brain tumour has been hailed a success following a recent initiative.

As part of its ongoing Keira Campaign, Halstead opticians Wardale Williams offered free eye tests throughout May. Those taking the tests were asked to make a donation of their choice towards the Keira Campaign, which is raising money for the children’s cancer charity CLIC Sargent.

The Keira Campaign was launched last year when the optician teamed up with the family of teenager Keira Dixon.

Keira, 18, from Sible Hedingham, was diagnosed with a brain tumour in February 2014 after optometrist Greg Hybel spotted worrying signs when carrying out an eye examination at the Halstead practice.

He immediately referred Keira to hospital and the next day she was transferred to the intensive care ward at Great Ormond Street Hospital and within five days underwent life-saving surgery.

Practice manager Mark Thompson, said: “The idea of offering free eye examinations during May was for us to continue raising awareness of the importance of having regular eye examinations.

“Eye tests do not just show us about the eye, they are also a good indicator of general health. Signs of ill health can be detected during an eye test.

“In extreme cases eye tests can save lives and what happened with Keira is just one example of this.

“The initiative proved very popular with a lot of people taking advantage of the free eye tests during May.

“We raised around £300 from the donations, meaning more than £3,500 has been raised for CLIC Sargent since the launch of the campaign, which is a fantastic achievement.”