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Sarah Pike and Commodore Jock Alexander OBE at HMS Heron
Corbin Pike aged 3, one month before the operation to remove his right eye

Yeovilton bakes cakes for charity

Published: 16 May 2013

Delicious aromas emanated from the Command Building at RNAS Yeovilton as cakes were laid out in support of the Childhood Eye Cancer Trust (CHECT) during Retinoblastoma Awareness week.

Sarah Pike (37) a Classified Books Officer at RNAS Yeovilton orchestrated the baking of a profusion of cakes to raise money for CHECT who provide vital work, research and support to those affected, at the same time raising awareness of the rare childhood eye cancer known as Retinoblastoma. This affects mainly children under the age of five years and Retinoblastoma is the name given to the condition when a tumour is found in the eye.

In February 2011 Sarah’s Son Corbin, then aged 3 was diagnosed with retinoblastoma. Sarah said,

“We’d never heard of retinoblastoma and didn’t realise that the glow that we occasionally saw within our son’s eye was anything that we should be concerned about. I nearly cancelled the doctor’s appointment thinking that I was just being a neurotic mum”.

The only sign that Sarah had that there may be a problem with Corbin’s eye was an occasional golden glow. At the age of three years Corbin, susceptible to all the childhood illnesses doing the nursery rounds didn’t seem unduly concerned but for Sarah it was only when a week later he developed a very prominent squint in his right eye that she took him to the Doctors. Sarah said,

“Luckily our doctor knew what he was looking at and within 2 days of our initial visit we received an appointment at the eye clinic in Yeovil Hospital where they discovered that our son had a tumour in his right eye, I was absolutely petrified”

Corbin was diagnosed with a grade E cancerous tumour in is right eye and unfortunately the only treatment available to save Corbin’s life was to have his eye removed as soon as possible. Sarah was contacted via email by CHECT providing links to support that was available at this very anxious time. Sarah in support of CHECT said,

“I believe that the work CHECT is doing to raise awareness of the symptoms of retinoblastoma is vitally important, I’d never heard of kids eye cancer and wasn’t aware of a red reflex diagnosis test. For around 8 weeks I ignored the strange glow in my sons eye believing it was my imagination, there are only about 50 cases diagnosed a year but this cancer is the most treatable cancer when diagnosed early”

Chief Executive of CHECT Joy Felgate said: “The funds raised from Sarah’s bake sale will help to ensure that when a parent's worst nightmare is realised and they are told the devastating news that their child has eye cancer, they do not have to face this on their own. We are extremely grateful for the support Sarah has received from everyone at RNAS Yeovilton to help raise awareness of eye cancer in children and much needed funds to enable us to continue this vital work.”

Commanding Officer Commodore Jock Alexander OBE joined Service and Civilian personnel at RNAS Yeovilton eager to sample the delicious array of cakes and offer support to Sarah in raising awareness and funds to offer future support to sufferers like and their families. In less than three hours the table was void of cakes leaving only the money pot with £200!


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