Brave Bonnie gets top award

Bonnie Cairney (10) with her CHECT award EMN-150914-205605009
Bonnie Cairney (10) with her CHECT award EMN-150914-205605009
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A determined young girl has been recognised for her bravery after recovering from a rare form of eye cancer.

Courageous 10-year-old Bonnie Cairney had to have her right eye removed after being diagnosed at one-and-a-half with retinoblastoma, a cancer which affects the retina of children.

Bonnie, from Adderley, Bretton, now has an artificial eye which is ‘remoulded’ once a year, and she also undergoes a check-up every 12 months to make sure the cancer has not returned. But despite her limited vision she plays central midfield for the ICA under-12 girls’ team and hopes one day to emulate her footballing hero Cristiano Ronaldo.

Bonnie is known as the ‘bulldog’ when she plays football, a sport she loves as it allows her to “run about and just be with my friends.” Her friends also help her out by telling her if there is an opposition player she cannot see due to her reduced visibility.

Bonnie, who also runs to raise money for the Childhood Eye Cancer Trust (CHECT) which has been supporting her, was named as a ‘champion’ by the charity in recognition of her courage.

Bonnie was thrilled to receive the honour, saying: “I didn’tsee it coming - it was really nice.”

In addition, the Highlees Primary pupil gets a lot of satisfaction from raising money for CHECT. She said: “I really like how I know I’m helping other people in life.”

Bonnie’s step-mother Laura says it can be frustrating to see Bonnie hit her head and spill drinks though no fault of her own.

But she added: “Even when Bonnie was undergoing intense chemotherapy she didn’t complain once. I’m really proud of her and she deserves the award.”