Childhood Eye Cancer Trust Take on Run Through Regent’s Park
In what is becoming a popular tradition, every year Team Childhood Eye Cancer Trust (CHECT) descends upon Run Through Regent’s Park to raise money for those affected by retinoblastoma, a rare eye cancer which affects babies and very young children.
The day itself is always brilliant – the event is well-organised, the route through Regent’s Park is gorgeous and the atmosphere is welcoming to runners of all abilities. Everywhere you look there is someone in our white and blue CHECT running vest – a fuzzy feeling and reminder that we truly are a team and working together to raise money for a worthy cause.
Members of all ages and abilities turn out to take part and support our runners, including the little ones cheering their parents on at the finish line – a lot of whom were diagnosed with retinoblastoma. For some supporters, the charity is very close to their heart, with a loved one having been diagnosed with retinoblastoma or maybe they themselves had once battled the aggressive eye cancer as a child.
For others, the link to CHECT is through their place of work, stepping up to face a personal challenge whilst raising money for a great cause. As a very small charity, we’re lucky to have such dedicated supporters as we rely on public donations and don’t receive any government funding to help with our work.
Events like Run Through mean a lot to us, not only did our runners raise over an incredible £9000, it’s also a great time for our families to catch up and meet CHECT staff and other supporters.
A bit about retinoblastoma and CHECT…
Retinoblastoma mainly affects children under the age of six and, on average, around one child is diagnosed each week in the UK.
Devastatingly, around half of children lose an eye and some children can be left with a visual impairment as a result of the cancer and treatment. For this reason, we do a lot of work around raising awareness of the signs and symptoms of retinoblastoma with the general public and medical professionals – the most common being a ‘white glow’ in the eye, sometimes present in flash photos or in certain lighting, and a squint (lazy eye). Around 98% of children survive, but early diagnosis is crucial in order to save a child’s eyes, sight and life.
CHECT play a big role in the lives of those affected by retinoblastoma. We offer ongoing support to families and individuals including: someone to talk to during a child’s ongoing treatment, financial support, support for teenagers and adults living with the effects of the cancer, meet-ups for families and a contact service for those who are concerned that their child could have retinoblastoma. We reach out and offer our support to 100% of the families that face this distressing diagnosis on a weekly basis.
We also fund world class research into the prevention and treatment of retinoblastoma and influence policy to improve services for patients.
For more information about the Childhood Eye Cancer Trust, please visit chect.org.uk.