Mikaela’s Glow Story

Diagnosis: Amblyopia

Elizabeth saw a story on her Facebook page that grabbed her attention. It was about a little girl who had “the Glow” in the pupil of her eye in her flash photos.

She read that “the Glow” could be an indication of a rare form of cancer called Retinoblastoma. Elizabeth had never heard of “the Glow” — the scientific name is leukocoria. She learned in this story that this strange “cats eye” reflection could not only indicate Retinoblastoma, but close to 20 different conditions of the eye. Elizabeth had no idea that the information she gained in this article would soon be very relevant in her own life.

A few years later, in 2016, Elizabeth and Mikaela were on vacation visiting family. Elizabeth was snapping several photos of Mikaela and her aunt and uncle. Reviewing the photos, Elizabeth was shocked to see a silver flash show up in Mikaela’s left eye. She remembered the article she once read about the little girl with “the Glow”. Concerned, she looked back at photos she had taken of Mikaela.

She was shocked to see that time and again Mikaela had “the Glow” in this same left eye.

She found photos from as far back as when she was just 2 years old. She started to research on the internet and found Know The Glow. Here she re-learned what she had read in that article so many years ago.  

Elizabeth took Mikaela to her pediatrician and brought several examples of “the Glow” she had captured in photos. Her pediatrician was concerned and sent her to see an ophthalmologist. Here Mikaela was thoroughly tested and was found to have amblyopia, more commonly known as lazy eye. She had 20/200 vision in her left eye at that time.

Mikaela started a treatment plan that began with wearing glasses. She was checked every 3 months for a year to see if the glasses improved her vision. Unfortunately, at the end of the year, she had no significant improvement. Mikaela then started patching therapy. She wears a patch over her “normal” eye whenever she is really focusing; playing games, reading, or on the computer.  Mikaela has been patching for about a year and has a follow-up appointment next month to see if this has helped improve her vision. They are very hopeful.

Mikaela is now 7 years old and in first grade.

She loves to dance and takes both ballet and hip hop. She is very good about wearing her sparkly pink and purple glasses and does not complain too much about her patching therapy.  

Elizabeth is grateful that she knew of “the Glow” and as a result was able to get Mikaela the care she needs. She is very thankful to the family that shared their story so many years ago. She wants to give back to them by sharing Mikaela’s story. She hopes that it will reach another family who has not yet discovered their “Glow”.