A WOULD-BE bride has praised the fiance whose support helped her through their daughter’s battle with cancer.
Hartlepool mum-of-two Pamela Riley, 33, was “devastated” when her daughter Eloise Robinson was diagnosed with retinoblastoma (Rb) of the eye at just 22 months.
She had to have her left eye removed and replaced with a prosthetic one.
It was thanks to mum’s quick-thinking that she noticed an abnormality in her daughter’s eye even though there were no other signs of illness.
Pamela said: “I made an appointment at an opthamologist and he immediately sent us to Sunderland Eye Infirmary for further investigation. That’s where they told us of the diagnosis.”
Within days, Eloise, now aged six, was being treated at Birmingham Children’s Hospital.
Pamela said: “Eloise had no sight left in her eye and they laid it on the line that the best option for treatment was to remove the eye and check to make sure it had not spread to the optic nerve.”
Weeks later, the family was told the cancer had not spread and Eloise would not need further invasive treatment.
Pamela said: “We will need to constantly monitor her physical health as Rb is a genetic condition and, in rare cases, survivors can develop other forms of cancer later on in life.”
Eloise continues to have regular health checks at Sunderland Eye Infirmary. Pamela said the family was “devastated” when her daughter was first diagnosed and she added: “The impact upon our family was and continues to be immense.”
But she said: “All we can do is be there for her and each other.”
She hailed her daughter as “a little fighter” and added: “I don’t think I could be prouder of her if I tried.”
She also praised her fiance and Eloise’s dad, Jason Robinson, 35.
Pamela, of Seaton Lane, said: “If it hadn’t been for Jason I probably would not have managed to hold myself together as well as I have over these past few years.
“He truly is my rock and I’m extremely lucky to have him.”
As her way of saying thank you to Jason, Pamela is hoping their nine-year romance can be turned into the wedding of their dreams by winning the Mail’s Bride of the Year competition, run in conjunction with Robert Usher Photography.
Pamela explained: “Although we never intended ours to be a long engagement, it is unfortunately how it has turned out.
“Jason and I are very much in love and would like nothing more than to become husband and wife, but circumstances have not been easy over the past years.
“Eloise became ill in 2007 and then our wedding had to be postponed again when Jason was made redundant in 2009.
“Although we are hard-working people we would still struggle to have the wedding of our dreams without a miracle.
“We’re just an ordinary couple and there isn’t any significant reason why you would choose us, other than we adore each other.”
Pamela is a health care worker for the NHS and Jason is now a self-employed joiner.
Pamela said: “Jason and I have been together since 2002 after a chance meeting while out with friends. We were engaged the following year and have two adorable children together, Eloise and Liam aged three.”