Two children from Lincoln who have battled a rare eye cancer were guests of honour to officially open a new Vision Express store in the city.

Sophie Dowling aged 6 and Arwen Somers-Wilson, 4, are recovering from retinoblastoma (Rb). Sophie was diagnosed last year after her mum Hannah noticed a reflective glow in her eye. Thanks to a post on Facebook that Hannah spotted about the common symptom of Rb, Sophie was taken to her opticians and received the treatment she needed.

Arwen also had a white glow in her eye and was diagnosed with Rb after a tumour was detected in her left eye. Following surgery to remove her eye, Arwen is now cancer free.

Representing the Childhood Eye Cancer Trust, which is a partner of Vision Express, the youngsters cut the ribbon at the store after its relocation to a new unit within the Waterside Shopping Centre, alongside resident David Clough, who has been a customer for 22 years.

Sophie’s mum, Hannah Dowling, said: “Helping to raise awareness about retinoblastoma is really important to us as a family because we didn’t know anything about it beforehand. Simply knowing the signs could help a family find it in its early stages. Having regular eye tests is also really important, not only does it check your vision but also the health of your eye. Without an eye test Sophie wouldn’t have been referred to the hospital and we wouldn’t have found out about her cancer.”

If you’d like to become a CHECT ambassador and represent the charity at events like this, we’d love to hear from you. Email us at info@chect.org.uk or give us a ring on 020 7377 5578. 

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