We’ll remember Caroline Aherne for her incredible talent, warmth and wit, as well as her determination to raise awareness of the eye cancer retinoblastoma…

The Childhood Eye Cancer Trust was terribly sad to hear the news on Saturday that the writer, actress and comedian Caroline Aherne had died at the age of 52.

Caroline, who was best known for The Royle Family and The Mrs Merton Show, was loved by so many and will be missed by us all.

The CHECT team will remember her for the brave and inspirational woman she was – despite all the challenges that life threw at her, she continued with her charity work and played a crucial role in helping us to raise awareness of retinoblastoma.

Caroline and her brother Patrick were both born with a genetic form of retinoblastoma and sadly she was later diagnosed with bladder and then lung cancer.

She has previously said in media interviews: “My mum told us that only special people get cancer. I must be very special because I’ve had it in my lungs and my bladder as well.”

Caroline’s work with CHECT

Raising awareness of retinoblastoma, a little known disease with very subtle symptoms, to help drive early diagnosis is one of our top priorities and biggest challenges.

In 2014, Caroline helped us to spread the word about this cancer by providing a voiceover for our new online video campaign Rosie Has Retinoblastoma (see below).

The video told the story of Rosie, a young girl who has eye cancer. It explains the symptoms of retinoblastoma, gives tips to parents on how to spot them and emphasizes the need to see a health professional as soon as possible if they notice anything unusual.

The video campaign was reported on in the media and has been watched nearly 6,000 times, helping to raise the profile of this devastating disease.

We will always be grateful to Caroline for so generously donating her time to this campaign, which provided an invaluable opportunity to warn parents and health professionals about this disease and how symptoms can often go unnoticed.

Retinoblastoma support

If you’ve been affected by retinoblastoma and would like to talk to someone, our support workers are here to help. Please call us on 020 7377 5578 or email support@chect.org.uk.

You can also visit our resources section for more information about Rb.

Watch Rosie has Retinoblastoma

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