After a regular visit to Specsavers, a 13-year-old girl is informed that she has an orange-sized brain tumor.


Macie Hallitt (pictured) from Farnham, Surrey didn't notice she had unusual vision problems.  But during the exam, the 13-year-old couldn't read letters on a board or even recognize different colors

A teen discovered she had a deadly brain tumor after a routine eye test.

Macie Hallitt, from Farnham, Surrey, did not notice any unusual problems with her eyesight until an appointment with Specsavers.

The 13-year-old couldn’t read letters on a board or even recognize different colors.

Macie’s concerned mother Maxine Stevens, 36, was told Macie’s optic nerve was damaged and she was referred to hospital for an examination.

Just six days later, she was diagnosed with a glioma, which is responsible for one in four childhood cancers.

Macie Hallitt (pictured) from Farnham, Surrey didn’t notice she had unusual vision problems. But during the exam, the 13-year-old couldn’t read letters on a board or even recognize different colors

At her local Specsavers in Farnham, Macie's concerned mother Maxine Stevens, 36, was told Macie's optic nerves had been compressed.  Pictured is Macie with her mother Maxine

At her local Specsavers in Farnham, Macie’s concerned mother Maxine Stevens, 36, was told Macie’s optic nerves had been compressed. Pictured is Macie with her mother Maxine

Ms Stevens told MailOnline: “What was especially shocking was that she herself hadn’t noticed that she couldn’t see these things.”

At her appointment on June 20, the optician asked Macie to read the bottom row of letters on a sign.

But recalling the first conversation, Mrs. Stevens related how Macie said, “There are no letters, just a big A.”

Photos of Macie’s eye also showed damage to the optic nerve, which connects the eye to the brain.

After the optician made an urgent referral to Frimley Park Hospital in Surrey, Mrs. Stevens received a call from the ophthalmology department at 9am on 22 June urging Macie to go to hospital that morning.

WHAT IS A GLIOMA?

Gliomas are brain tumors that begin in the glial cells.

Glial cells surround neurons and help support and protect nerve cells.

Around 2,200 cases of glioma are diagnosed in the UK each year, statistics show.

And the tumors affect two to three in every 100,000 adults in the US each year.

The most common type of glioma is an astrocytoma, which develops from cells called astrocytes.

Unspecified gliomas occur when a doctor can’t tell the exact tumor grade or where it started.

Low-grade tumors, which grow slowly, may not require immediate treatment and are monitored through ‘watchful waiting’.

About half of low-grade tumors require surgery within two to three years of monitoring.

Surgery can be performed to remove as much of a low-grade tumor as possible, which is known as debulking.

Radiotherapy can then be performed if much of the tumor has remained.

Chemo may be recommended instead of radiotherapy if a patient has a specific genetic mutation.

High-grade gliomas require surgery, possibly followed by radiotherapy.

This does not cure the tumor, but aims to control it.

Chemo may also be recommended.

Source: Cancer Research UK

Scans and eye tests taken throughout the day revealed that Macie had no peripheral vision and was color blind.

Ms Stevens told MailOnline: ‘The consultant suggested there was ‘something’ compressing the optic nerve and called it a tumour.’

After referring her for an urgent MRI, the consultant warned Ms. Stevens that Macie had suffered significant thinning of the optic nerve.

On June 26, the results of the MRI showed she was suffering from a glioma pressing on her optic nerve and she was immediately told to stay in hospital.

Gliomas are tumors of the glial tissue, which hold and support nerve cells and fibers.

They tend to grow and infiltrate brain tissue, making surgical removal very difficult – or sometimes impossible – and complicating treatment.

Every year in the UK, around 420 children are diagnosed with tumors affecting the brain and central nervous system.

Medics confirmed that Macie would begin chemotherapy in six to eight weeks.

Ms. Stevens has since had one

“After I was diagnosed, I realized I would have to close my business,” she told MailOnline.

‘I was a self-employed event planner and had several parties booked over the next few weeks.

“With the uncertainty surrounding hospital appointments and ongoing treatments, I had to cancel all future party bookings and refund all clients.

“I also realized it wouldn’t be practical for Macie to sleep on the top bunk in a room she shares with her younger sister while she’s undergoing chemotherapy.

“I spoke to friends and family and they all suggested a GoFundMe page.”

She added, “To be honest, I cringed at first because I didn’t like the idea of ??asking for alms.

“But everyone said they wanted to help, whether it was getting Macie a bedroom or hospital transportation or helping with my company’s financial loss.

“In less than a week our whole world was turned upside down.”

Scans and eye tests performed at Frimley Park Hospital on June 22, just two days after her routine eye appointment, showed Macie had no peripheral vision and she was color blind

Scans and eye tests performed at Frimley Park Hospital on June 22, just two days after her routine eye appointment, showed Macie had no peripheral vision and she was color blind

After referring her for an urgent MRI, the Frimley Park Hospital consultant warned Ms Stevens that Macie had significant thinning of the optic nerves.  On June 26, the results of the MRI showed she was suffering from a glioma pressing on her optic nerve and she was immediately told to stay in hospital.  Pictured is Macie (far right) with her parents and sisters

After referring her for an urgent MRI, the Frimley Park Hospital consultant warned Ms Stevens that Macie had significant thinning of the optic nerves. On June 26, the results of the MRI showed she was suffering from a glioma pressing on her optic nerve and she was immediately told to stay in hospital. Pictured is Macie (far right) with her parents and sisters

Ms Stevens said: ‘As a mother I do my best to support my children and I can carry everything I can, but this news was more than any parent should have to bear on their own.

“Macie and I are overwhelmed by the support and generosity we’ve received from so many people, even complete strangers.

“Macie brought a bunch of flowers to the optician to say thank you. As much as it is incredibly sad news for her, she wanted to thank you that it was found and can now be treated and hopefully preserve her remaining sight.”

She added: “As a family, we have a long road ahead of us.

Macie is facing a brain tumor, vision loss, chemotherapy [and] the loss of her beautiful long hair.’

Ms Stevens warned Macie may need chemo “her whole life”.

“We don’t really know what the future looks like right now, but we’re taking it day by day,” she added.

“As a family, we will overcome every hurdle and we are eternally grateful for every donation, every message shared, and every kind message of support and love.”