PARENTS of an 18-month-old girl who has a rare form of eye cancer have spoken of their daughter’s immense courage in battling the disease.

Andrew and Cheryl Millington, of Penrhos, Gwersyllt, are full of pride for the way little Emily is fighting retinoblastoma which affects only one in 20,000 children each year in the UK.

Emily was diagnosed with the disease last September. It was discovered after she underwent tests because she had constant eye infection problems.

Emily has had to undergo a gruelling round of chemotherapy at Alder Hey Hospital in Liverpool – with sessions lasting six-and-a-half hours each – together with laser treatment at Birmingham Children’s Hospital.  The chemotherapy came to an end a few weeks ago. However Emily still has to travel regularly to Birmingham.

Despite all the difficulties she remains ever cheerful and brings delight to everyone who meets her.

“Emily has a lovely personality. She is always really bubbly. Whatever comes her way she just gets on with it,” said Cheryl.

Emily has lost the sight in her right eye, which had three tumours. There were also three tumours in her left eye, but her medical treatment has been successful in saving the eye. Tests have also shown the vision in her left eye is above average.

“When Emily was diagnosed with retinoblastoma it was a blow, but she has coped so well and we have had tremendous support from friends and family. We would like to thank them all,” said Cheryl.

It was found Emily had a genetic form of the disease so tests were carried out on her brother Morgan, five, which showed he does not have the cancer. Cheryl and Andrew have also been given the all clear.

Cheryl has stressed the tremendous work being carried out for Emily by the CLIC Sargent nurses who visit the family regularly. And she was also full of praise for the Childhood Eye Cancer Trust, stressing it provides valuable support.

Emily’s family held a special fundraising evening for the trust at Gwersyllt Working Men’s Club and it proved to be an outstanding success.

The evening was organised by Cheryl, Emily’s two grandmothers Michelle Wynn and Sandra Millington, and Cheryl’s sisters Lisa Griffiths and Hayley Wynn

“We had such a tremendous response,” said Cheryl. “Tickets were completely sold out after just a couple of days being on sale.

“We raised £1,600 and would like to thank everyone who helped make it so successful, including the local businesses who donated items for a prize draw.

“Also Manchester United, Liverpool, Wrexham FC and Crusaders Rugby League club for the items they donated.”