An Epsom schoolboy who survived a rare form of eye cancer is supporting a nationwide sunglasses giveaway, helping raise money for a children’s cancer charity and raising awareness of retinoblastoma.

Christopher Payne, from Epsom, launched a sunglasses raffle at Vision Express in Banstead on Monday, May 9, with proceeds going to the Childhood Eye Cancer Trust (CHECT).

Christopher, 11, was diagnosed with retinoblastoma – a rare tumour which can affect the vision and change the eye’s colour – in one eye when he was three-and-a-half-years old.

His cancerous eye had to be removed in a life-saving operation and was replaced with an acrylic one.

He then endured several rounds of chemotherapy, which led to his weight plummeting. He once weighed the same as his nine-month-old brother Thomas.

He is now an ambassador for the CHECT.

Your Local Guardian:

L-R: Sarju Patel from Vision Express in Banstead, Christopher Payne, 11, Thomas Payne, 8, and Niruba Devarajan

Patrick Tonks, chief executive, said: “For too long retinoblastoma has been shrouded in darkness – children are left in the dark because some or all of their vision has been stolen and parents and healthcare professionals are in the dark because of a lack of awareness.

“Parents usually know when their little one is unwell but with retinoblastoma children often seem perfectly happy and healthy so it’s much harder to spot. We want all parents to be ‘eye aware’ and to take their child to see a health professional if they have any concerns at all.”

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