Family’s plea for Brooke

AT the age of two, Brooke Chilton lives in a world of total darkness.

She has never seen her mummy’s eyes, her daddy’s smile or her grandparents’ faces.

And while other toddlers charge around playing with toys, Brooke sits quietly on an adult’s lap.

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But now, for the first time ever, there is a chance that the world will literally light up for the curly-haired Dunstable tot (pictured left).

When doctors in this country said there was nothing they could do to cure her form of blindness, called optic nerve hyperplasia, parents Leah and Lee turned to the Internet.

In China they discovered a revolutionary treatment using stem cells to persuade Brooke’s stunted optic nerves to grow enough to let in light – and sight.

Though there is no guaranteed success, there are miracle stories of cures, including one blind teenager who can now see well enough to take her driving test. But two sessions of the treatment, plus travelling, will cost £50,000 – a fortune to Brooke’s family.

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“We can’t lose this opportunity though,” said gran Dee Turner. “We have all vowed to rally round and raise the money in whatever way we could.”

So far the family has organised charity football and golf days, raffles and coffee mornings to raise £6,000.

On Saturday they are holding their biggest fundraiser yet, thanks to Asda at Milton Keynes.

“The theme is blindfold games, which we thought would make people think. We’ll be outside the store from 10am and people can meet Brooke and learn all about her condition,” said Dee.

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Leah, 19, who lives in Norfolk Road, is determined to reach the target before Brooke is five – the age where she could ‘recover’ from her blindness and catch up developmentally.

“At the moment she is too young to realise she is blind. She just thinks the whole world is black,” said Leah.

“But when she hears noises she gets worried and starts shaking. She doesn’t have the confidence to walk yet, even though there is no reason why she couldn’t.

“I would give anything for her world to be full of colour and for her to be able to see our faces. This operation is the only chance she has in the world. We would never be able to live with ourselves if we did not take it.”