AN Oxfordshire woman’s eye cancer is so rare that most doctors don’t have any patients with the condition.
Lucy Hoch’s ocular melanoma led her to lose most of her vision in her right eye and she now wears an eye-patch.
Now the 42-year-old is raising money for charity OcuMel UK with her husband Andrew and daughters, Alice, 11, and Eleanor, 10.
The Blewbury family are walking the 87-mile Ridgeway from Wiltshire to Oxfordshire in stages each Sunday this month and next. They have already raised more than £600 for the charity through sponsorship.
Just 450 UK people are diagnosed each year and are often excluded from drug trials, which campaigners say limits research into the condition.
The charity supports patients by putting them in touch and providing emotional support.
It also tries to raise awareness of the condition and is campaigning for standard medical guidelines and more drug trials.
Mrs Hoch was diagnosed in 2012 and was told she was in the clear but the cancer returned and was treated with lasers.
She said: “I have to wear the eye-patch, otherwise it makes me very tired.
“Because of the radiation damage my eye is really dry and I get headaches as well.
“Now I don’t know what my prognosis is. It’s difficult to live with because there’s so much uncertainty. Nobody can tell you if you’re going to be okay.”
She said: “OcuMel UK is a link, really. With a cancer like this you can feel so isolated.
“When you go to the doctor, you’re probably the only case that he’s heard of – it’s that rare.
“OcuMel UK is like a light in a very, very dark place.
“People understand what you’re going through.”
She added: “It’s frustrating because you have to fight for every bit of treatment as there is no recommended pathway, and no cure.”
Mrs Hoch said: “We wanted to do the trail because it’s Oxfordshire, and the children wanted to join us so it needed to be something that’s manageable.
“It’s also more time to get sponsorship. If you’re doing something as a one-off event it’s passed them by usually, but we’re doing it in stages.”
To donate, visit uk.virginmoneygiving.com/ team/theHochs
Our top stories:
8:30am Wednesday 2nd September 2015
DRIVERS on three of the county’s busiest roads have been hit by delays more than 28 times every day this year.
7:20am Wednesday 2nd September 2015
ALMOST 40 firefighters were tackling a straw bale fire in a field in Hanwell near Banbury last night.
1:26pm Wednesday 2nd September 2015
TRAFFIC is building up around the Kennington Roundabout and Southern Bypass Road after a lorry shed “a couple of bags” on the dual carriageway.
9:00am Wednesday 2nd September 2015
THE headteacher at a leading Oxford independent school has claimed mobile phones offer “limitless” possibilities for education in the classroom.
8:00am Wednesday 2nd September 2015
SLEEPING residents claim they have been abruptly woken in the middle of the night by drilling at the Westgate building site.
7:00am Wednesday 2nd September 2015
GOBLETS, old muskets and vintage cigar boxes are just some of the £2.5m worth of antique items Oxford City Council owns.
6:30am Wednesday 2nd September 2015
THE Leys Festival could be marred by dog fouling, with a councillor warning of a recent spate at Blackbird Leys Park.
6:00am Wednesday 2nd September 2015
A NATIONAL heritage body has called on an Oxford college and developer to scale back plans for student accommodation near a historic cemetery.
8:30am Tuesday 1st September 2015
A WOMAN who was attacked and raped while out jogging is preparing for a tough challenge – raising cash for the centre that helped to rebuild her life.
3:34pm Tuesday 1st September 2015
A DANGEROUS convict who escaped from prison and was seen heading towards Oxford has been re-arrested.
3:05pm Tuesday 1st September 2015
AN “unrepentant paedophile” has been convicted of voyeurism and sexual offences against children in Oxford.
10:25am Tuesday 1st September 2015
A TEENAGE motorcyclist was taken to hospital after being involved in a crash with a van.
9:00am Tuesday 1st September 2015
A DAREDEVIL granny has jumped from a plane to raise more than £15,000 to help sick children.
8:00am Tuesday 1st September 2015
A NEW Arabic school set to bring youngsters of all faiths together is aiming to be the top Sunday school of its kind in the country.