Like any mom of an infant, I am constantly taking random pictures of my kids just to document their adorable, silly faces. It was just like any other day, and I was taking pictures on my iPhone of our new four-month-old son, Asher, while he was lying on my bed.For some strange reason, my flash, which I never use, went off and startled him as he stared, wide-eyed straight at the camera. I went to delete the over exposed, red-eyed photo when I became startled myself as I observed an unexpected warning sign of a type of pediatric cancer.My stomach automatically dropped as I had just completed my second semester of nursing school, and in my pediatrics class we briefly touched on pediatric cancers, including the rare form of Retinoblastoma.What I viewed on my son was one pupil exhibiting the typical ‘red eye’, or red reflex, caused by the flash on cameras, while his other pupil glowed white. I knew right then and there that the inevitable was occurring. I mentioned it to my husband, and he told me “to stop playing nurse”, and went about his business, but I couldn’t let it go. I pulled out my big DSLR camera and began snapping more pictures of my son with the flash to see if I could capture the “glow” again, and do my dismay, it was there…again, and again. I knew in my heart what was happening. When I mentioned this to our pediatrician, she performed a routine red reflex check in his eyes, and advised me that Asher did not have a red-reflex in his right eye at all, and said that we needed to see a specialist right away.We were referred to a pediatric ophthalmologist the same afternoon who proceeded to tell us that, yes, it was either Retinoblastoma or CoatsDisease, but that she would rather send us to Emory Eye Clinic to see Dr.Baker Hubbard, who specializes in Retinoblastoma in children, for the final diagnosis. We got in to see Dr. Hubbard the very next day on Wednesday,August 27, 2014, and on that afternoon, our four-month-old baby was diagnosed with cancer.
Every child who has been diagnosed with childhood cancer inspires us to Rally On to find better treatments with fewer long-term side effects and, ultimately, cures. Please join us in the fight against childhood cancer by making a donation or setting up your own Rally fundraiser today.