Jaden’s Glow Story

Diagnosis: Retinoblastoma

Alex Muñoz, Jaden’s mother, noticed a strange “Glow” in photos from the time he was just a baby.  She took many photos of him using a disposable camera with a flash, as it was before digital photography was popular.  Time and again, Alex saw a “Glow” in Jaden’s right eye.  When Jaden was only 15-months-old, she mentioned it to family members who told her not to worry.  But Alex knew that there was more to this strange “Glow.”

When Jayden developed the flu, Alex contacted her pediatrician and explained that she was noticing a “Glow” in his photos.  The pediatrician told her it was probably related to his illness and not to worry.  Again, Alex did not accept this answer.  Her mother’s intuition was telling her there was something more going on.   She decided to take Jaden to her husband’s optometrist.  This is where she started to get some answers.  The optometrist saw a mass behind Jaden’s eye.  He sent her back to her pediatrician with a note explaining that he believed Jaden to have Retinoblastoma.

Immediately, he was referred to a pediatric ophthalmologist who confirmed the Retinoblastoma diagnosis.  The following day, the Muñoz family took Jaden to see Dr. Murphy at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA.)   Dr. Murphy explained that Jaden was completely blind in his right eye and recommended that the eye be enucleated as soon as possible.  A few weeks later the surgery was performed.  Luckily, he did not need any further treatment with chemotherapy or radiation.  The cancer was completely removed.

Jaden did great with his surgery.  Alex remembers him “jumping on the furniture” the very next day as if nothing had happened.  Jaden is now 12-years-old and thriving.  He loves to play sports and is even the pitcher on his baseball team.  Alex is very thankful that she listened to her “mother’s intuition” and did not stop until she found answers to “The Glow.”

Story Update: “Jaden is now 16, a junior in high school and his grades couldn’t be better. He’s still trying to figure out what kind of career he’ll want to pursue in the very near future.”