Liam is a happy, chubby 6 month old baby with a very rare form of eye cancer. At a routine check up with our pediatrician was unable to find his “red reflex” in his left eye. The doctor asked if we had ever noticed a white eye or “glow” in any of his photos, but we had not.
After the appointment, we rushed home and took his picture with the flash on. The photo revealed that his left eye glowed white just as our pediatrician described. The next day we were at the ophthalmologist and he confirmed our worst fears, our beautiful, baby boy had Bilateral Retinoblastoma. We were devastated, confused and scared until we met with the doctors at Sloan Kettering in New York, The Wills Eye hospital in Philadelphia and the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). They confirmed the aforementioned diagnosis, but assured us Liam’s Retinoblastoma was identified early and not overly advanced.
On a standard scale ranging from A to E (low to high severity), Liam’s eyes were both graded as B’s. He has 5 small tumors scattered in the periphery of his right eye and 2 tumors in his left. The largest tumor covers some of his central vision. The doctors provided multiple treatment methods, and we chose systemic chemotherapy to help cure his current cancer while lowering his risk of potential future cancers.
The next day his treatment was started at CHOP. We were advised by Liam’s doctors that immediate treatment provides a 99% chance of full recovery and a 95% chance of saving both his eyes with minimal visual impairments.
We have just started on this very difficult journey and could not be more grateful for the love, support and amazing care our baby boy is receiving from family, friends, neighbors, nurses, doctors and just about anyone else who meets Liam and hears his story.
Meet Liam for a moment and you instantly become aware he has a completely contagious smile and laugh. We feel very fortunate that we have been shown the light at the end of this very dark tunnel. We want to help build Retinoblastoma awareness so we ask that you please share our story with #loveforliam and check your own children for “The Glow” once a month. With a simple flash photography you can #knowtheglow and possibly save a child’s life.