Boy receives award for baby brother’s support through eye cancer battle

Matthew Riley and his mum being presented with his certificate.
Matthew Riley and his mum being presented with his certificate.

A boy has been named a CHECT Champion for the dedication and support he has given to his little brother who was diagnosed with a rare eye cancer.

Matthew Riley, nine, from Lancaster, received the award from the Childhood Eye Cancer Trust (CHECT) at a recent presentation.

Matthew was nominated by his mum, Lisa, for the continuous support he has been not only to Harry but to the entire family.

Harry, now two, was diagnosed with the rare childhood eye cancer retinoblastoma (Rb) at just 11 weeks old and since then there has been countless hospital visits to treat the cancer.

Retinoblastoma is a fast-growing cancer of the retina, diagnosed in just 40-50 children in the UK each year.

Lisa said: “Matthew who was only seven when Harry was diagnosed has been a huge support to his siblings.

“During the numerous hospital appointments and lengthy stays he has helped look after and play with all our other children.

“He always makes sure that home life is as normal as possible despite missing mum and his baby brother.

“He spends a lot of time playing with Harry, encouraging him and helping look after him.

“I am so proud of his maturity and the love and care he has shown to Harry and his other siblings.

“He has missed out on so much because of Harry’s hospital appointments, but he never complains. Rb has made him grow up and that has made him so much more special.”

The CHECT Champion awards aim to recognise the outstanding courage, resilience and patience shown by all children affected by Rb, including siblings, throughout treatment and beyond.

The awards are sponsored by Credit Suisse and each child receives a medal, framed certificate and goody bag.

CHECT chief executive Joy Felgate said: “Every child affected by Rb faces huge disruption and upset throughout treatment and also the many follow-on check-ups.

“This affects not only the patient, but their siblings too.

“We are delighted to see that Matthew has been so supportive not just Harry but the whole family. “He is an extremely deserving champion!”