Teenager Keira Dixon urges others to go for eye tests after optometrist spotted potentially lethal brain tumour
- Credit: Su Anderson
A 17-year-old girl with a brain tumour has launched an awareness and fundraising campaign to help others.
Keira Dixon, 17, was urgently referred to hospital in February last year after an eye test revealed abnormalities and within five days had life-saving surgery at Great Ormond Street Hospital to remove a malignant tumour.
Now Keira, from Sible Hedingham, wants to raise awareness of the important of regular eye tests, as well as raising thousands of pounds for children’s cancer charity CLIC Sargent.
The initiative is being backed by Wardale Williams opticians, which has practices in Sudbury and Halstead, where optometrist Greg Hybel first referred Keira to hospital.
Keira’s eye test was booked by her mother, Amanda, after she suffered with headaches and blurred vision.
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Amanda said: “We are so grateful we went for that eye test and to Greg for being so professional and referring us to hospital.
“The eye test was potentially lifesaving for Keira, if the signs had not had been spotted when they were she may not be here today.
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“As part of this campaign we want to raise as much money as possible for CLIC Sargent which has given Keira so much fantastic support. However, we also want to do as much as we can to raise awareness of the importance of having eye examinations.”
Since her operation Keira has undergone more than 30 sessions of radiotherapy, lengthy periods of steroid treatment and has scans at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge, every three months.
Despite the extensive treatment Keira managed to sit five of her nine GCSEs and is now studying politics, history, geography and media studies at A-level at Hedingham School.
Amanda added: “Keira has been brilliant, an absolute star through everything and taken it all on the chin. I am biased but she is just wonderful.”
Mr Hybel added: “I am so very pleased Keira is making such tremendous progress. It was a joy to see her looking so well at her recent routine eye examination.
“I believe the moral here is the undeniable importance for everyone to attend for regular eye examinations.”
Also backing the campaign is Keira’s brother Jamie, 23, who is running the London Marathon for CLIC Sargent and hopes to raise £2,500.
The practice is helping by making a £250 donation and holding collections, as well as holding events such as Wig Wednesday.
The campaign will run initially for six months.
Jamie can be sponsored at his JustGiving page.