This week, a special little boy from Yateley won an equally special award, being named a CHECT Champion by the Childhood Eye Cancer Trust (CHECT) in honor of his outstanding effort and bravery.
Four year old Taylor Treadwell was originally diagnosed with retinoblastoma (RB), a rare form of eye cancer, when he was just 14 months old. The doctors found tumors in both of his eyes, and resulted in the loss of one of his eye just last year. Afterwards, Treadwell won the 2015 Eagle Radio Local Heroes Award.
The CHECT Champion awards are intended to recognise the courage, resilience and patience shown by all children afflicted by RB as they work through their treatments, as well as life as a cancer survivor.
Taylor’s mum, Tina, worries about the tumors still present in his other eye, but feels inspired by his positive attitude, which keeps everyone around him in good spirits. “He won a CHECT Champion award, which I nominated him for, purely because he’s been such an inspiration to everybody else, to want to raise money and awareness for Retinoblastoma,” she said, adding “Thanks to friends and family who’ve thought about Taylor, we’ve raised about £15,000 in three years.”
Taylor feels rather proud of himself , too, and rightfully so. “I’m a poster boy for my Moon Eye,” he said, referring to the nickname his family gave his condition after seeing small white spots in the photos of his eyes.
After being told his eye would need to removed despite months of rigorous treatment, Tina felt devastated. But since then, she views the experience under a new light. “We’d fought for 20 whole months, and the cancer came back very aggressively. We’re going to give the eye a birthday - the 10th of June - and we&’re giving it a special celebration - purely because that’s the day that we had to save his life. That is his new life”