The Childhood Eye Cancer Trust (CHECT) is marking 30 years since its establishment in September.
Launched in 1987 to support families of children with retinoblastoma (Rb), the charity marked the milestone by hosting a special members weekend in Buckinghamshire earlier this month.
Attended by more than 250 people, activities during the weekend were planned to support members of all age groups who are affected by the condition, from newly-diagnosed children and their families, to teenagers living with an artificial eye and adult survivors of Rb.
Reflecting on the weekend, chief executive of the CHECT, Patrick Tonks, said: “Retinoblastoma is a rare cancer, with most families not knowing anyone else who has been affected. Since our earliest days, CHECT has been there to support and bring families together. This latest Members' Weekend was our biggest event to date – we know how important this is for families, and are so grateful for the support we receive that allows us to continue this work.”
Rb affects babies and young children under the age of six, with around one child diagnosed with the condition every week in the UK.
Over the last three decades the charity has worked to raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of Rb with patients and healthcare professionals.
In 2013, it was named charity partner of Vision Express and worked with the multiple to develop an Opticians Protocol on Retinoblastoma. Endorsed by the College of Optometrists and the Royal College of Ophthalmologists, the protocol is designed to ensure that all in-store Vision Express staff are aware of what action to take if a parent is concerned about Rb.
The protocol has now been adopted by a number of independents as well as Boots Opticians.
Visit the CHECT website to read more about the protocol.