Mum took son for an eye test before 'Chris from Specsavers' saved his life

Daniel Ruth (right) was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer after a routine visit to the opticians
-Credit: (Image: The Ruth family)


The mum of a teenage boy diagnosed with a rare form of cancer believes his life was saved following a routine trip to Specsavers.

Daniel Ruth, 16 and from Litherland, attended a routine eye test at the Specsavers in Crosby in March this year when the optician noticed a brown mark on one of his blue eyes. Mum Lindsay told the ECHO the optician told the family to go straight to the St Paul's Eye Unit based at the Royal Liverpool University Hospital where doctors carried out a number of tests.

Daniel was later diagnosed with a rare form of cancer - ocular melanoma - after several weeks of tests. The cancer affects five or six out of every one million people each year, with only 1% of those people being children. Lindsay said since Daniel was diagnosed it's been full steam ahead with treatment and this week he started proton beam radiation therapy at Clatterbridge Cancer Centre on the Wirral.

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Lindsay told the ECHO: "It was terrifying to get the news. Your natural reaction when you hear that is to think you are going to lose him. I have had cancer myself, but when your child has it you just feel so helpless. Chris from Specsavers has saved our son's life. After Daniel started treatment we went back to thank him and told him how grateful we were, but he said he was just doing his job."

Daniel is currently in the middle of his GCSE exams , but due to the gruelling treatment he is undergoing, is only going to take five. Mum Lindsay added: "He was meant to do 18, but with the stress of the treatment and the impact it has had on his mental health, it would be unfair to put more on him.

"Before all this we were pushing him to stay on top of his revision, but health comes first. He's going to sit a few and I think they are going to go off his mocks for the others. He wants to go to college and study to become an electrician - he's got a good head on his shoulders."

Lindsay said her son, who is a big football and music lover, often goes to watch Liverpool FC with his dad Mark. He also loves going to rock gigs and is due to see AC/DC at Wembley in July. Daniel is currently experiencing headaches and dizziness as he recovers from the proton beam radiation therapy, which delivers precise but extremely high levels of radiation to disrupt and destroy tumour cells.

Lindsay told the ECHO they should learn the results of the therapy in around three months. After the news of Daniel's diagnosis was confirmed, a group of LFC fans who go to the match with the teenager and his dad Mark started a GoFundMe to raise money.

The group of friends will be walking up Snowdon to raise both awareness of the rare form of cancer and to provide funds for Daniel and his parents during the difficult period. Lindsay said: "They've taken it upon themselves to raise money for Daniel.

"We never in a million years thought people would do something like this. Everyone has been so generous and supportive and it shows how Daniel has had such a positive impact on people's lives." At the time of writing, the fundraiser had raised over £2,000, doubling its original target in just a matter of days.

Lindsay reiterated how Daniel's life was saved by a routine visit to the opticians and wants to encourage others to go and have the simple eye test. She said: "You never expect to have the news Daniel heard but it's worth keeping up and having regular appointments. It could potentially save a life."

To follow Daniel's treatment and donate to the fundraiser click here.

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