SCHOOLGIRL Faye Archer’s life was saved ... by a tube of mascara.
The make-up caused an infection in the teenager’s eye, prompting her parents to take her to hospital.
Medics who treated her also ordered a series of precautionary tests – which later revealed Faye was suffering from Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a cancer of the lymph nodes. It was caught at an early stage and treatment has proved successful.
Faye, 16, said: “Wearing mascara really did save my life.
“If I hadn’t got the eye infection, I would never have had the tests and the cancer may not have been found in time.”
Mum Sue added: “Faye might have developed symptoms eventually but who knows how the cancer might have spread by then? Although we were not happy about the make-up at first, it did, of course, lead to the diagnosis.”
Faye, who lives near Harrogate, developed the eye infection in September last year and her worried parents Sue and Graham took her to the accident and emergency unit at Harrogate Hospital.
She had three weeks of treatment but doctors also ordered X-rays and scans as she had complained of breathlessness.
The tests revealed inflammation of the lymph nodes in Faye’s chest. At first it was thought that might just have been her immune system fighting the infection, but after more scans, on December 23 the family was given the devastating news that Faye, then 15, had cancer.
Sue said: “There had been no sign that anything at all was wrong which was why we were just so shocked to be told she had cancer. It was the last thing we expected to be told.”
Faye began an intensive eight weeks of chemotherapy at the teenage cancer unit at Leeds General Infirmary in January.
The treatment was successful and recent scans have shown the cancer is no longer in her system. Doctors have said there is a 95 per cent chance it will not return. though, Faye will have to have extensive tests for the next five years.
Right now, though, Faye has been well enough to go back to school and to return to her part-time job as a waitress.
To show their appreciation for Faye’s care, her family are now staging a summer ball and fashion show to raise money for Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research and the Bone Cancer Research Trust.
Faye will be one of the models and she will be joined by a group of other youngsters who are either still being treated for cancer, or have recently completed their treatment.
The Vintage Summer Ball, which Faye’s nine-year-old sister Ruby has also helped to co-ordinate, will be held on Sunday from 6.30pm at the Royal Armouries in Leeds.
They are being backed in their efforts by Leeds showboz legend Sir Jimmy Savile who said: “Those who bring sunshine into the lives of others get plenty of their own back.”
The event will include dinner, auctions and raffles, with prizes ranging from a meal cooked by Harewood House chefs to pleasure flights and haircuts by Toni & Guy, whose stylists will create the hair for the catwalk fashion show models.
Tickets at £30 each are still available. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or see website: www.bcrt.org.uk