Coddi’s Glow Story

Diagnosis: Retinoblastoma

In the picturesque city of Penang, Malaysia, a worried mother named Karrinzz (Karyn) Wong found herself facing an uncertain future when her two-year-old son, Coddi, was given a tentative diagnosis of retinoblastoma. The journey began when Karrinzz noticed an unusual glow in Coddi’s eyes, a fleeting flash that caught her attention in dim lighting. Concerned, she promptly sought medical advice.

The pediatrician in Penang referred Karrinzz to an eye specialist, who, in turn, directed her to the government hospital. Initially reluctant to take on the case due to the potential length and expense of treating retinoblastoma, the hospital conducted an initial check and MRI, confirming the diagnosis. With 70% of Coddi’s eye affected and baby seeds visible, it was evident that the situation was grave. Karrinzz was then referred to Dr. Norhafizah Hamzah, an ocular oncologist in Kuala Lumpur, for further examinations.

Amidst the uncertainty, Karrinzz turned to the internet for information and discovered KnowTheGlow. She reached out to them, and a Zoom call was set up with Co-Founder, Megan Webber. Having recently connected with Dr. Boon Long Quah from Singapore at a conference in Kenya, Megan checked to see if he was acquainted with Dr. Norhafizah. He and the two doctors collaborated, exchanging emails and ensuring that Coddi was in excellent hands.

As the days passed, Megan and the team from We C Hope, an organization dedicated to supporting families facing retinoblastoma, provided Karrinzz with invaluable information and emotional support. The collaboration between KnowTheGlow, We C Hope, and the medical team, including Dr. Norhafizah, created a network of care around Coddi and his family.

The awaited Friday arrived, and Coddi underwent the recommended examinations. The diagnosis of retinoblastoma was confirmed, and it was decided that Coddi needed to undergo eye enucleation. Additionally, four rounds of chemotherapy were prescribed due to the seeding. Despite the challenges, Karrinzz felt a sense of comfort moving forward, having been in constant communication with the KnowTheGlow and We C Hope teams and being reassured by the exceptional support provided by Dr. Norhafizah’s team.

Coddi faced the enucleation with resilience, and though there were some complications with the fitting of the prosthesis but fortunately a solution has been found without requiring surgery.  He has successfully completed all four rounds of chemotherapy and his bright smile and happy attitude are a true testament to the strength of his spirit and the support surrounding him.

The collaborative efforts of KnowTheGlow, We C Hope, and the medical professionals involved allowed Karrinzz and Coddi to navigate through the challenges with confidence. As Coddi continues to grow, the Wong family serves as an inspiring example for other families in the region, proving that no obstacle is insurmountable, and there is no ocean too wide to find help and guidance. The story of Coddi is a poignant reminder of the power of a global network working together to provide emotional support, confirmation of care, and valuable information to comfort and stay close to an extraordinary boy and his equally amazing family.