Gosport sisters named as charity champions

From left, Amber, Rachel, Leah and Joshua Bartlett. Picture: Allan Hutchings (132852-951)
From left, Amber, Rachel, Leah and Joshua Bartlett. Picture: Allan Hutchings (132852-951)
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  • Sisters become charity champions for their courage when one of them faced cancer
  • Leah had eye cancer when she was a baby and since then sister Amber has supported her
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OFFERING her sister support and care has seen Amber Bartlett recognised at an award ceremony.

The eight-year-old was joined on stage by her sister Leah after they were both named as Childhood Eye Cancer Trust Champions.

She really is an inspiration to all of us, as is Amber who has been the perfect little sister to Leah

Rachel Bartlett

Leah, nine, was diagnosed with retinoblastoma, a cancer that affects the eyes of children, when she was 11 months old.

To save her life and get rid of the tumour, Leah had her left eye removed.

Now nearly eight years later, Leah is living life like any other little girl thanks to the support of her sister Amber.

In recognition of the bravery both girls have shown, they were named as champions of the charity.

Mum Rachel, from Mill Lane, Gosport, said: ‘Leah has been through such a lot in her short life and this award means so much to her.

‘She really is an inspiration to all of us, as is Amber who has been the perfect little sister to Leah throughout all the hospital visits, check-ups and when they’re together at school.

‘She watches out for her. Leah has always been very brave about her treatment and never made any fuss.

‘She is quite a shy child by nature but has really overcome this because she wants people to understand what she’s been through.

‘She tells other children all about her experiences and even shows them how to remove her eye and clean it.

‘The past few years haven’t been easy but I’m so proud of the two of them and glad they have been recognised.’

Being named as champions means the sisters, who attend St John’s CofE Primary School, in Gosport, have shown courage, resilience and patience shown throughout treatment and beyond.

Joy Felgate, chief executive of the Childhood Eye Cancer Trust, said: ‘Leah and Amber have been through so much over the last few years but they’ve shown remarkable levels of courage and resilience.

‘Retinoblastoma causes an immense amount of upset and disruption but they have absolutely refused to let things get on top of them. They are thoroughly deserving champions.’