The CHECT staff team had the pleasure of spending some time with Angharad Price when she joined us in the office for a week’s work experience in the summer of 2014. She wrote several articles at the time and did a brilliant job helping to plan the layout for the TeenFocus newsletter for our younger members. She also wrote her own account while working with us which she is happy for us to share.
My name is Angharad and I am 16 years old.
I was diagnosed with Rb when I was nine months old and I had my right eye removed in what I remember to be as ‘The Blue House’ in St Bartholomew’s Hospital, London. I am so fortunate that my mum and dad managed to spot it early – who knows where I would be without them! I remember regular visits to London with my parents and Grandma and I always felt welcomed and truly cared for. My earliest memory about my eye is receiving the Dino the Dinosaur that also had a ‘special’ right eye- like me!
Luckily, Eluned in Rookwood Hospital, Cardiff who fitted my very first eye still treats me now and I have built a strong friendship with her as a result. I still go to the hospital a minimum of twice a year to have it cleaned, polished and checked for fit. Last year, Eluned sent me to the most amazing place in Hemel Hempstead, to ensure that the colour of my artificial eye was a perfect match! It was incredible to see how the eyes were made and especially how they were made for use in the Harry Potter films.
Currently, I am studying for my GCSEs that I am determined to succeed in. I feel that having my eye has made me more determined in life and show that nothing can hold you back. I have many close friends who accept me for who I am and have never judged me for it.
However, I remember an incident when I was 8 when a girl asked me to take my eye out, which I did because I did not know any different as I took pride in keeping it clean. Let’s just say her reaction was not what I was expecting! I am sporty and play netball, hockey and have participated in athletics.
I have played for the same netball club with all my friends for almost ten years. Without a doubt, my favourite sport is skiing and I have been skiing twice with the school to Italy. Recently, I completed my Duke Of Edinburgh Bronze Award that I thoroughly enjoyed and am planning to begin the Silver Award soon. I am a prefect at school and felt honoured to be nominated for Head Girl.
I was very proud when I managed to raise £300 for the Philippines Typhoon Appeal by organising a cake sale.
I am extremely grateful for my family’s continuous support. I feel blessed they have never marked me against my eye as in they have never held me back from any opportunities.
They have provided me with hope as well as reminding me my eye is a part of me that I should be proud of not ashamed of.
CHECT is always interested in hearing from people who are happy to share their retinoblastoma stories. If you’d like to get involved please let us know by contacting a member of our team HERE.