Meet Grace – Retinoblastoma

Grace was diagnosed with Retinoblastoma, pediatric eye cancer, at 8 months of age. Almost her entire left eye was filled with this aggressive cancer, but we had caught it in time!! Within two weeks we had removed her eye (enucleation) and got all of the cancer. After genetic testing and pathology came back, we were blessed to hear that she had the sporadic form of RB and it had not spread out of the eye! However, up until the age of 7, protocol called for frequent exams with her eye specialist to ensure that it was not the bi-lateral (2 eyes) rather than the unilateral form of this cancer.Initially, these exams were frequent and under anesthesia (every 6 weeks for the first year, then 8 weeks, etc…). Along with her initial surgery, this was the most difficult time for us…putting a child under is never easy and waking up from these exams was always tough! Until Grace was able to “graduate” to office exams at the age of three! This allowed us to avoid the hospital and fear of being put under for exams. RB has a 95% cure rate when treated this successfully and the age of 7 is the magic number our RB community hopes to get to without finding new tumors! Grace has done just that and we are truly blessed. She is no longer in need of frequent follow-up and is simply examined once a year. She currently has a prosthetic left eye that needs to be cared for medically 2-3 times/year and wears glasses for protection and vision. She has no depth perception, but has adapted well!! She is currently an active, healthy and happy first grader with a great, healthy future. We thought this would be a great way to celebrate this milestone of her life!!!

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