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Welcome to OcuMel UK, the charity which represents people affected by ocular (uveal) melanoma.

We hope that on our website you will find all the information you need to help you understand your condition and treatment options. To watch videos from our conferences, please click the relevant tabs on the navigation bar.
If you need more help, please contact us, or if you would like to chat to others, please check out the eye cancer forum on the external links page. 
Please help us by becoming a member of OcuMel UK.   It's free and is the best way to show your support and to connect with others and their families.
Please also consider fundraising for us or donate to help us continue our work into 2015.
Need more info?  Call our HELPLINE

It is with great sadness that the OcuMelUK Trustees inform you of the passing of the former Chair of OcuMelUK, Mr Kieran McGuirk, at the age of 65 (seen here on the left at the OcuMelUK conference, Liverpool 2012). Kieran was Chair of OcuMelUK from January 2012 until January 2014, when he stepped down to become Acting Treasurer. Until his death, Kieran was dedicated to the Charity's cause and was determined to work with the UK's experts to establish and promulgate best practice diagnosis and treatment of ocular melanoma.

In August 2011 Kieran was diagnosed with ocular melanoma, and his eye was successfully treated with radiotherapy. However, only two years later, Kieran was diagnosed with spread of the melanoma cells to the liver. Despite brave attempts at liver-directed therapy, including isolated hepatic perfusion, Kieran succumbed to his disease in early September 2014.

Kieran will be remembered by the OcuMelUK Trustees and members as the "quiet achiever": through his quiet, wise, diplomatic style, Kieran was able to convince many to pause and listen, and hear his viewpoint, which often represented the voice of many ocular melanoma patients.

He was born and educated in Liverpool. After studying Mathematics & Theoretical Physics at Cambridge University in 1972, Kieran joined the IT industry, initially in R&D. He subsequently took a 2-year sabbatical to work as a volunteer (VSO) in Malawi, researching Water Resources for water supply and agricultural development. Returning to the UK, he resumed his IT career, moving into business management for a major multinational company, progressing to the post of Director of Marketing.

Kieran McGuirk on the left

Kieran took early retirement in 2006, from which time he has pursued interests in music (St Albans Symphony Orchestra) and mountain walking. He achieved major heights in both of these areas, e.g. becoming Chair of the Orchestra as well as reaching the summit of Mont Blanc.

Kieran is survived by his wife, Rosalind, and three children, Anna, Tom and James. The funeral will take place on at 2:40pm on October 2nd at Garston Crematorium. Kieran's family would like any donations to go to OcuMelUK, Marie Curie Cancer Care and the Rennie Grove House Hospice.

What is Ocular Melanoma?

Ocular melanoma (OM) is a cancer of the eye, including the iris, choroid or ciliary body. This can spread (metastasise) to other organs, typically the liver.

Approximately 50% of patients will develop metastatic disease within 15 years of the original diagnosis, and once the liver is involved the cancer is currently incurable. However, if the spread is found early enough there are localised treatments that can potentially extend life expectancy or help improve quality of life for those affected.

There are also many new drug therapies being brought to trial, and some of them have shown great success in other types of melanoma such as cutaneous melanoma (skin cancer).      

When you are diagnosed with ocular melanoma, you will be referred to one of the
specialist eye centres who will deal with the tumour in your eye. Your eye doctor will decide which is the best initial treatment for you. You will also have tests to work out whether your cancer has already spread and this is called staging.    

If metastases are found at the time of diagnosis, your eye doctor will work closely with your medical oncologist to decide on the best course of treatment for your personal circumstances.

If your cancer is contained within the eye at diagnosis you will be referred for ongoing follow-up, the aim of which will be to identify any future spread in a timely fashion.

You will continue to have regular checkups of your eye and you may need further eye treatment depending on your situation.