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Toddler fighting eye cancer joins Vision Express to officially open new optical store at Tesco in Ipswich

Press Release   •   Feb 09, 2018 16:04 GMT

Lavinia Crosbie and her mum Lucy, with the ‘Vision Express at Tesco’ Ipswich team

The new ‘Vision Express at Tesco’ store in Ipswich has officially opened its doors, with a celebration led by child eye cancer survivor and charity ambassador, Lavinia Crosbie.

Childhood Eye Cancer Trust ambassador, Lavinia, and her mum Lucy were on hand to help cut the ribbon on the premises, which is home to sophisticated sight screening equipment, to deliver a thorough eye health service to local residents.

In 2016, Lavinia was diagnosed with retinoblastoma (Rb), a rare and aggressive eye cancer, when she was just eight months old. “My husband Steve noticed a glow in Lavinia’s eye and remembered reading about the condition on Facebook, so we took her to our local GP,” explained Lucy. “We were referred straight away and went to West Suffolk Hospital the next day, where she was booked in to be put to sleep on Halloween, so they could have a look at her eyes.”

Lavinia was sent to London Eye Hospital, where Lucy and Steve were told the devastating news that their daughter had Rb, and she began treatment. Lucy continued: “Our world was turned upside down when Lavinia was diagnosed. It was terrifying to think that our smiley, happy, gorgeous little girl had developed cancer without showing any signs of being unwell.”

Lavinia underwent six rounds of chemotherapy as well as cryotherapy treatment and is now in remission. “During her treatment, Lavinia lost her hair and suffered from infections, including sepsis this time last year – she didn’t smile for weeks,” added Lucy.

“We’ve been told that she’s most likely blind in her left eye and she has struggled socially with being in hospital for so long. Although in a way it was good that she was so young, as she didn’t know exactly what was happening, it was hard because she could never tell us how she felt.

“I would say for other parents to be aware and look out for the signs, and if you don’t get the right response from your GP, seek another opinion – it’s so important that it’s detected early.”

Vision Express at Tesco Ipswich store manager, Emma Cousins said: “It’s fantastic to have Lavinia and her family join the team to officially open our new store.

“We have over 100 ways to test your eyes, to assess how they’re working and help detect serious conditions such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes and increased risk of stroke. It’s great that Vision Express is now in such a convenient location for local residents to drop in and get this essential health check.”“We’re here to help residents ensure their vision is the best it can be, and Lavinia’s story demonstrates the importance of looking after your eye health.

The Ipswich optical store, located at Copdock Mill Interchange, is one of more than 200 ‘Vision Express at Tesco’ outlets launching across the UK in 2018 and showcases a purple-infused rebrand being introduced across the entire Vision Express chain.

The re- brand introduces a refreshed logo and striking purple and green colour decor, featuring bright sofas and wooden flooring, delivering a modern, inviting and vibrant environment to encourage customers to feel at ease.

Vision Express’ acquired Tesco Opticians at the end of 2017. In preparation for the expected increase in demand for frames prompted by the acquisition, a £1.5 million investment has been made at Vision Express’ Nottingham-based Technical Centre.

Vision Express CEO Jonathan Lawson added: “This is a hugely exciting time for the Vision Express family, and we’re delighted to welcome new team members to the company, and provide a seamless eye health service to former Tesco optical customers. Crucially, we’re pleased to now be able to offer our vision expertise in a convenient location to residents.”The national home of Vision Express’ laboratory, the Technical Centre currently produces more than one million pairs of glasses a year but following the investment, production capacity is expected to double during 2018.

About Vision Express

Vision Express is one of the largest optical retailers in the UK and part of GrandVision, the global leader in optical retail operating in more than 40 countries, spanning over 6,500 stores and online.

With almost 600 stores nationwide, Vision Express first opened its doors in Newcastle in 1988. Built on a passion for the profession, it has gone from strength to strength, driven by a commitment to unparalleled customer service and providing the best individual optical care, the right product and great value. Customers can select from a vast range of genuine designer brands and the latest technology lenses, through to complete glasses from £39.

With around 6,000 employees, Vision Express makes a significant difference to the communities it operates within, and the organisations it chooses to support. As part of its commitment to Vision. Taken Seriously, and as a responsible and caring retailer, Vision Express is proud to partner with a range of healthcare charities, which have touched the lives of customers and teams. These companies provide vital support to people affected by vision-related conditions. They are part of the Vision Express Charity Project and include:

  • Childhood Eye Cancer Trust (CHECT)
  • International Glaucoma Association
  • Macular Society
  • Stroke Association
  • Temple Street University Hospital
  • Brake

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