BARTLETT, Tenn. — A Bartlett family says an eye exam saved a teen’s life after doctors discovered a brain tumor.

Ahkira Gillis recently celebrated her 19th birthday, spending time with her five siblings. Fast forward to August, and the family received a diagnosis changing everything.

“I drove my sister to work, and I was like, ‘Hold on. I’m seeing something. I cant see nothing,'” Akhira recalled.

She told her mom, Adrianna Britton, she was seeing spots. After a quick visit to the eye doctor, they realized something wasn’t right.

“They called me and said they saw something, and I said, ‘What do y’all see?'” Adrianna said.

After multiple visits, doctors determined Akhira had a brain tumor taking up 25 percent of her brain.

“I was like brain tumor, no, then they said MRI, and it takes up 25 percent of my brain, and I have to go into surgery. It was terrible,” she said.

Now she’s home after brain surgery and diagnosed with astrocytoma grade 2 cancer.

“When you look it up, it breaks your heart,” Adrianna said.

Less than a year after senior prom and high school graduation, the family is now preparing for more surgeries and a long fight ahead, which unfortunately means more money.

“She still has to see PCP and different specialist now, therapist for therapy, and we have to pay those copays and pay our portion up front for her to get those services,” Adrianna said.

As her family raises money for her care, Akhira’s smile remains, and she’s hopeful for her bright future ahead.

The family is asking for donations to pay for her hospital bills, after care, and therapy. If you would like to donate, click here.