Last week, KTG had the chance to meet Gracie, the little girl who “kicked cancer” with her smile and inimitable character, and that’s just what her FB page reflects… https://www.facebook.com/graciesfightagainstretinoblastoma. As the page reads, “Gracie is kicking cancer’s butt!”
In a conversation with Gracie Corrigan and her mother, we found out how it all started. Gracie was two and a half years old when Gracie’s mom, Elly, first noticed the glow in Gracie’s eye, and it was not long after that she began noticing how Gracie seemed to have a lazy eye. After the pediatrician agreed that more tests were needed, Gracie was taken to the eye clinic, where they too noticed the glow in her eye. It was then that Elly was told of the possible diagnoses Gracie could be facing.
Reeling from the news, Gracie and her parents were quickly sent to Wills Eye Hospital because the doctors weren’t sure whether it was Coats’ Disease or Retinoblastoma. After the first examination with Dr. Carol Shields, they were told that Gracie has retinoblastoma. In fact, they discovered that there were actually nine tumors in Gracie’s eye!! Gracie was diagnosed on May 16, 2016, and just a few weeks later on June 1st of the same year, her right eye was enucleated.
Gracie underwent six months of chemotherapy and that was the most difficult period for Gracie and her family. Gracie’s mother did her best to keep her daughter strong enough through all the chemo treatments that followed. She even tried vitamin therapy which she thinks was very helpful!
It is clear just how difficult it is for Gracie’s mother to remember and share about those difficult days, but Gracie’s smile fixes absolutely everything in a single second!
After all that she’s been through, Gracie tells us today how happy she is to have beaten cancer, how she’s happy to be able to prank her friends and family, and how she’s the happiest girl in the world to have such tremendous support by her side.
Gracie is now a healthy 9-year-old girl, with a special “sunflower” prosthetic in her right eye and with a completely healthy and unaffected left eye. Gracie is also an athlete, playing volleyball, basketball, softball and riding a mini-motorcycle just for kids! She does it all!! What a delight and what an inspiration! We can’t wait to see what this young lady will soon achieve. It’s clear she has a lot more to show the world!
There’s a quote from Helen Keller about Sunflowers. “Keep your face to the sunshine and you can not see the shadow. It’s what sunflowers do!” We’re happy that she’s leaving all the shadowy days behind her and we hope there’s nothing but sunshine ahead!