10-year-old cancer campaigner joins Hereford Mayor and Vision Express team to unveil major store refurbishment
Vision Express has opened its new-look Hereford High Street store with help from special guests, young eye cancer survivor Esme Eagle Davies, mum Anabel and Mayor of Hereford Jim Kenyon.
10-year-old Esme was diagnosed with unilateral retinoblastoma - a rare form of eye cancer - just before her first birthday in 2007. The youngster’s grandfather had spotted the 'cats eye' effect in photographs of Esme and having read reports that it could be linked to cancer, he urged Anabel to get it checked out, which led to her diagnosis. Thanks to early intervention and extensive treatment, including six months of chemotherapy, Esme’s eye was saved.
Esme and Anabel, from Gloucester, joined the Vision Express team as ambassadors for the Childhood Eye Cancer Trust (CHECT), a charity partner of the national optical retailer. The mother and daughter performed the official ribbon-cutting to reveal the store’s new facilities and equipment, alongside Hereford Mayor who stopped by to take part in the celebrations.
Store manager, Terri Lewis said: “This is an exciting day for us as we officially re-open our Vision Express store in Hereford with the very best in eye health facilities, and our thanks go to Esme and her family, and the Mayor for their support.
“Stories such as Esme’s really show how important it is to be vigilant when it comes to vision, especially in children. Children are no longer offered mandatory eye tests at school, and we know that only one in five children have the free NHS eye test they’re entitled to, so it’s great to have Esme and Anabel visit to help show other families how crucial it is to take care of your vision.”
Anabel added: “Due to a relatively early intervention, Esme had the option to fight for her sight, which the family decided to do and after a couple of minor setbacks and six months of chemo, her eye was saved. She has been extremely lucky and is now 10 years old and on six monthly checks with the wonderful team at Birmingham Children’s Hospital. Esme is a tremendously happy, bubbly, positive, clever girl who always makes the most out of every situation and she was thrilled to be invited to officially open the Hereford store.”
- Vision Express has enjoyed an award-winning partnership with CHECT since 2010, using initiatives to raise awareness and drive donations for the charity, so they can help more families affected.
- It was the first optician in the UK to roll out a protocol to ensure a quick and effective referral if retinoblastoma is suspected. Employees and customers of Vision Express have raised around £300,000 since the partnership was forged and recently presented a cheque for £45,000 to the charity.
Vision Express offers an eye test to best practice guidelines of the College of Optometrists (COO), with each Vision Express optometrist being a qualified eye health professional. To book an eye test at the Herefore store call 01432 342433, visit 7/8 High Street, Hereford HR4 9AA or make an online enquiry at: www.visionexpress.com/book-eye-test/
For more information on retinoblastoma please visit www.chect.org.uk
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 44 countries and spanning 6,100 stores and online. GrandVision is committed to delivering superior, high quality and affordable eye care to more and more people around the world.
With almost 390 stores nationwide, Vision Express first opened its doors in Newcastle in 1988. Since then it has gone from strength to strength, driven by a commitment to unparalleled customer service and providing the best personalised optical care, style and quality. Customers can select from a wide range of frames and lenses for glasses, contact lenses and sunglasses, allowing everybody to reflect their individual personalities and lifestyles.
With prices starting from £39, the Exclusive Brands in-house collection of eyewear makes the choice at Vision Express both unique and affordable. For frames and sunglasses the styles range from iconic, retro designs to the latest in ultra-modern chic. High-quality brands to suit every style and every budget.
With over 4,000 employees, Vision Express makes a difference to the communities it operates within, and as part of its commitment to Vision. Taken Seriously, and as a responsible and caring retailer, it 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 Charitable Partnerships and include: