A FAMILY in the Esperance region has found the right ingredient for successful fundraising.
The Kershaw family donated proceeds from their country cookbook toward the purchase of a new piece of ophthalmology diagnostic equipment at Princess Margaret Hospital (PMH).
The $100,000 cutting-edge Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) equipment recently donated to PMH enables doctors to take non-invasive 3D cross-sectional images of the interior of the eyes, in particularly the retina, producing pictures significantly more precise and accurate compared to those produced by conventional diagnostic equipment.
Brett and Shona Kershaw, from West River, donated $20,000 of proceeds from their cookbook, Lexie's Look and Cook Recipe Book, to the PMH Foundation to go towards purchasing the pioneering equipment, which will assist doctors in diagnosing eye conditions and diseases such as retinoblastoma, the type of eye cancer their daughter, Lexie, was diagnosed with in 2011.
The family was inspired to fundraise for PMH Foundation after Lexie was diagnosed and successfully treated for aggressive retinoblastoma at the hospital, after her parents kept noticing a strange silvery-white appearance in Lexie's right eye pupil in photos.
Catching the cancer before it spread to her optic nerve, Mr and Mrs Kershaw made the decision to have Lexie's right eye removed to prevent the return of the disease.
Mr and Mrs Kershaw said Lexie is now a happy, healthy three-year-old.
The family said their fundraising effort was aimed at raising awareness about retinoblastoma.
"Since the start we knew every single dollar of the proceeds from our cookbook would go towards PMH Foundation and would help raise awareness about retinoblastoma," Mrs Kershaw said.
"We're absolutely delighted to have helped fund the purchase of this particular new ophthalmology equipment, because it's a quicker way of diagnosing children's eye conditions, and for the kids it's non-invasive and a bit of fun, like a giant camera that they peek into.
"More than anything we want to thank all of the people who have supported us and made this possible, who have bought the cook book and helped raise awareness about eye cancer."
"My message to other parents is don't hesitate if you have a fear or something niggling you, even if you feel stupid. Go have it checked."
Mrs Kershaw said her family had been overwhelmed by community support across WA for their fundraising initiative, with Lexie's Look and Cook Recipe Book raising an impressive $43,000 so far.
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