NEHW Sight Saver

Today’s focus by National Eye Health Week is Children’s Eye Health. September is also Childhood Cancer Awareness Month so we would like to share an inspiring story about a young local girl called Aliyah to raise awareness for a very rare eye condition called Retinoblastoma.

Aliyah’s mum has shared some information about her journey: "When Aliyah was only 15 months old, I noticed that Aliyah had a white pupil in a flash photograph and took her to her family opticians who then referred her urgently to the Royal Victoria Hospital. The doctors diagnosed her on the same day with unilateral retinoblastoma (Rb).”

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Aliyah is now six years old and has never let it get in her way. She had to go through 5 cycles of Chemotherapy and 2 cycles of intro-arterial chemotherapy along with laser treatment. Aliyah ultimately ended up having her left eye removed at 21-months-old as the tumour was heading towards her optic nerve. She’s now at primary school and doing great. She has also joined a local drama class as she loves performing and dancing and this keeps her confidence up. She wears glasses as she is long sighted in her right eye".

Aliyah was referred urgently to the Royal Victoria Hospital by her local opticians after they dilated her eyes and discovered an abnormality on her retina which turned out to be a rare tumour. Once the diagnosis was made, Aliyah made regular trips with her family to Birmingham Children’s Hospital where she underwent most of her treatment. Thanks to an early diagnosis and great care from the NHS, Aliyah beat her cancer.

If you have any concerns about your own child’s eye health never hesitate to contact your optician or GP for advice. Children can have a free eye examination at any age, and we recommend regular eye examinations from pre-school age. If there is a family history of longsightedness or strabismus/” lazy eye”, please get them tested as young as 12-24 months. They do not have to be able to read letters

Follow the pages below to continue spreading awareness for children like Aliyah:

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