The family of a 17-year-old girl whose brain tumour was spotted during an eye test have launched an awareness and fundraising campaign.
The family of Keira Dixon, from Swan Street in Sible Hedingham, hope to raise thousands of pounds for children’s cancer charity Clic Sargent as part of the campaign.
Just as crucially, they want to raise awareness of the importance of regular eye tests, as it was during an optician’s appointment that signs of Keira’s tumour were first spotted.
The campaign is being backed by opticians Wardale Williams, which has a close connection with Keira as the potentially life-saving eye test was carried out at the company’s Halstead practice.
Keira had been suffering headaches and blurred vision when her mother, Amanda, took her for an eye test in February last year.
Optometrist Greg Hybel was so concerned by the abnormalities that he spotted, that he immediately referred Keira to Colchester Hospital.
The following night, Keira was transferred to the intensive care ward at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London, where it was established that she was suffering from a brain tumour.
Five days later, she underwent lifesaving surgery. A biopsy of what was removed confirmed a malignant tumour.
Mrs Dixon said: “The eye test was potentially lifesaving for Keira. If the signs had not had been spotted when they were, she may not be here today.
“As part of this campaign, we want to raise as much money as possible for Clic Sargent, which has given Keira so much fantastic support.
“We also want to do as much as we can to raise awareness of the importance of having eye examinations.”
Central to the campaign will be Keira’s brother Jamie, 23, who is taking part in the London Marathon.
Wardale Williams is also supporting the campaign by making a £250 donation and holding collections in its practices in Halstead and Sudbury.
The company will continue to run fundraising activities during the six-month campaign.