Child cancer survivor opens new opticians

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A Knaresborough child eye cancer survivor was a guest of honour as a Wetherby optician launched its new premises.

Twelve-year-old Hollie Atkinson recently cut the ribbon to open the new Vision Express store in Market Place.

Hollie, who is an ambassador for the Childhood Eye Cancer Trust (CHECT), was diagnosed with retinoblastoma just before her third birthday and underwent lifesaving surgery to remove one of her eyes. She now wears an artificial eye.

Hollie and her mum, Bev Barker, were welcomed into the Vision Express Wetherby store by store manager Sarah Mills, who has 16 years’ experience serving the local community.

Previously, Sarah and the rest of the Wetherby team have fundraised for CHECT with a coffee and cake day at the store and Sarah has also raised money for the charity running in the Wetherby 10k and The Great North Run.

Sarah said: “Here at the store, we think it’s really important to raise awareness of such a rare disease as retinoblastoma so it was great to have Hollie here at the store in her role as CHECT ambassador.

“We had a great day celebrating the new store and it was a privilege to welcome Hollie to cut the ribbon.”

“Our team has over 57 years’ experience in optics and it’s fantastic to continue to offer local residents a thorough and individual vision care service from our new premises.”

Vision Express has enjoyed an award-winning partnership with the Childhood Eye Cancer Trust (CHECT) since 2010, using initiatives to raise awareness and gain money charity, so they can help more families affected.

Employees and customers of Vision Express have raised around £300,000 since the partnership was forged and recently added £25,000 to the tally with a 200-mile cycle fundraiser in September, called the Ride4Sight.