Brave three-year-old given award after losing her eye to cancer

CHILD OF COURAGE: Khaya Panchal
CHILD OF COURAGE: Khaya Panchal
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A youngster who had to have an eye removed to save her life has been recognised with an award for her bravery.

Khaya Panchal, three, of Ashton, Preston, was diagnosed with retinoblastoma, a rare eye cancer that affects children, after a telltale whiteness in the pupil was spotted.

Devastated parents Ritesh and Nisha, who also have four-month-old daughter Maya, were told by specialists the only way to save Khaya’s life was to remove her eye.

Khaya now has an artificial right eye which she calls her “special eye” and has astounded her family with the way she has coped with her ordeal.

Khaya has been named a Childhood Eye Cancer Trust Champion for her courage.

Dad Ritesh, 33, said: “Right from day one, Khaya has been so brave. She’s a tough cookie and you would be hard-pushed to tell there’s been anything wrong with her.”

Mum Nisha, 32, added: “We were lucky, as the tumour in Khaya’s eye was caught just in time before it spread.

“We want other parents to be aware of the signs of retinoblastoma and get anything strange checked out.

“You could save your child’s life.”

Read more about Khaya’s story here