THREE children from the same family have been honoured for the courage and bravery they have shown while one of them battled with the effects of an extremely rare form of cancer.

Megan Thomas, 17, from Patcham was diagnosed with a cancer of the retina in both eyes when she was three months old.

She had to undergo six bouts of chemotherapy but although doctors were able to save her left eye, the right eye had to be removed in order to save her life.

Megan now wears an artificial eye and has, over the years, continued to have her progress monitored to ensure that the cancer has not returned.


Despite the day to day challenges which face her, Megan, a student at Varndean College in Brighton, strives to live life to the full.

She gets a great deal of help from her two younger sisters, Grace, 12, and Katie, six, who both provide their older sibling with unrelenting support.

In recognition of Megan, Grace and Katie’s efforts in the face of adversity all three have been named as CHECT Champions by the Childhood Eye Cancer Trust (CHECT).

The CHECT Champion awards aim to recognise the courage, resilience and patience shown by all children affected by retinoblastoma – often referred to as Rb for short – throughout treatment and beyond.

Mum Anna, 37, said: “Ever since she was first diagnosed Megan has shown nothing but determination, strength, courage and bravery.

“It all started when she was still a baby and we noticed how the pupil in her right eye wasn’t black, as it should be.

“We took her to the doctor and from there she was referred to Sussex Eye Hospital in Brighton.

“Once it became clear how serious it was then the journeys to St Bartholomew’s Hospital in London began.

“It is quite incredible how she coped with the treatment and what came next, learning to remove her false eye from as early as one-year old.

“She’s gone on to get amazing grades at GCSE and is now entering her second year at sixth-form college.

“She never shies away from answering questions about her eye and has done lots of fundraising for CHECT, helping to raise awareness into Rb at the same time.”

Dad Chris, 52, said: “Megan had finished her treatment by the time Grace and Katie were born.

“That’s never stopped her two younger sisters from being incredibly supportive and understanding about Megan’s condition.

“They are all amazing girls and we are so proud of them.

“They are a perfect example of how all the obstacles that life throws at you can never get in the way of sisterly love.”