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Eye cancer survivors Tom and Lily join up to unveil Vision Express Windsor store

Press Release   •   Jan 18, 2016 15:01 GMT

Two survivors of a childhood eye cancer teamed up to help Vision Express reveal the results of a refit at its Windsor store.

Lily Krapichler, Tom Ellington and their families help raise awareness of retinoblastoma on behalf of the Childhood Eye Cancer Trust (CHECT), one of the nominated charities supported by Vision Express.

Ten-year-old Lily, from Windsor, was diagnosed with unilateral retinoblastoma, a rare eye cancer, when she was less than a year old and has since undergone chemotherapy at the Royal London Hospital.

Tom, aged nine and from Cookham, was also diagnosed with unilateral retinoblastoma in November 2008 and subsequently lost his right eye as part of his treatment. His father Ian is now chair of the trustees of CHECT.

On Wednesday, January 13, they were invited along by the opticians to cut the ribbon and reopen the store in the King Edward Court Shopping Centre, after its impressive upgrade.

Store directors Kerrin Walker and Alex MacLeod and staff from Vision Express hosted the ribbon-cutting.

Kerrin said: “It was brilliant to have Tom and Lily and their families with us to perform the reopening ceremony. They both added so much to the celebrations.

“This refurbishment means we’re equipped with the very latest equipment to continue delivering the highest quality eye care to our customers in Windsor.”

Following the opening event, the team at the Vision Express store will continue working with customers to raise funds to help CHECT research retinoblastoma and support sufferers and their families.

CHECT chair, Ian Ellington said: “The support of Vision Express and its customers goes a long way in enabling CHECT to help more children like Tom and Lily, and carry out important research.”

Lily’s mum Maryam Ebadi added: “Everyone at Vision Express made us feel very special, and I know Lily loved trying on all the different glasses and sunglasses.”

Vision Express offers an eye test to best practice guidelines of the College of Optometrists, with each Vision Express optometrist being a qualified eye health professional. To book an eye test at the store call 01753 850550, visit the store at King Edward Court, Windsor, SL4 1TF or book online at www.visionexpress.com/book-eye-test/

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More images available on request. For further information, contact John Atkin at The Tonic Communications john@thetoniccomms.co.uk or telephone 0115 853 2198.

About Vision Express

Vision Express is the third largest optical retailer in the UK and part of GrandVision,the global leader in optical retail operating across 43 countries, spanning over 5,800 stores and online.

With more than 390 stores nationwide, Vision Express first opened its doors in Newcastle in 1988. Built on a passion for the profession, it has gone from strength to strength, driven by a commitment to unparalleled customer service and providing the best individual optical care, the right product and great value. Customers can select from a vast range of genuine designer brands and the latest technology lenses, through to complete glasses from £39.

Vision Express is considered one of the leading and most trusted opticians in the UK and Ireland, with its European offering supported through sister eye care brands Grand Optical, Solaris and Generale D'Optique.

With around 4,000 employees, Vision Express makes a significant difference to the communities it operates within, and the organisations it chooses to support. As part of its commitment to Vision. Taken Seriously, and as a responsible and caring retailer, Vision Express is proud to partner with a range of healthcare charities, which have touched the lives of customers and teams. These companies provide vital support to people affected by vision-related conditions. They are part of the Vision Express Charity Project and include:

  • Alzheimer’s Research UK
  • Childhood Eye Cancer Trust (CHECT)
  • International Glaucoma Association
  • Macular Society
  • Stroke Association
  • Temple Street University Hospital.

About CHECT

  1. Retinoblastoma (Rb) is a rare form of cancer which affects the retina of children, predominantly under the age of six years.
  2. Statistically it affects 1:20,000 live births each year. This can also be expressed as 50 cases a year or about one child a week in the UK. It represents 3% of childhood cancers in the UK.
  3. The signs of Rb include: the appearance of a whitish light bouncing back out of the eye, like a "cat's eye" caught in the light. It is often noticed in photographs where flash photography has been used. One eye will appear red, the other white (note: there can be other reasons why this reflex occurs but it is ALWAYS best to get it checked out). A squint is sometimes present; the eye can look sore or swollen; there can be a change in the colour of the iris, a deterioration in vision or the absence of red eye in a photograph in one pupil.
  4. There are two specialist NHS treatment centres in the UK, The Royal London Hospital and Birmingham Children's Hospital. The service is overseen by the NHS National Specialised Commissioning Team.
  5. For more information on the signs and symptoms of retinoblastoma visit www.chect.org.uk 

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