Lizzie and Darlene’s Story – Update

Diagnosis: Retinoblastoma

In the spring of 2016, Know The Glow shared a very inspirational story about two amazing “warriors”, Darlene Sutton and her granddaughter Lizzie.  Darlene and Lizzie were simultaneously fighting two different battles against cancer.  We are very pleased to share with you an update on these two courageous and resilient fighters….both Darlene and Lizzie are now cancer free!

Lizzie had been diagnosed with unilateral Retinoblastoma when she was just 3 months old after her mother noticed she had developed a lazy eye and had a Glow that she could not explain.  Just one week after Lizzie’s confirmed diagnosis of RB, her grandmother Darlene was diagnosed with colon cancer.  

At the time of our last posting, Darlene had undergone a total of three surgeries in three months.  After these surgeries Darlene endured months of recovery.  Her battle was not easy but she was finally told she is cancer free!   Darlene says she found inspiration in the strength and resilience of her little “Warrior princess” Lizzie, who was fighting her own courageous battle.  

At the time of our last post Lizzie had undergone four rounds of chemotherapy and had just discovered a re-occurrence in her left eye.  Since then, her doctors at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital decided to place a plaque on her eye to administer radiation directly into the tumor.  This method of radiation proved successful on the targeted tumor, however the cancer grew outside the plaque.  It was decided that Lizzie would then be treated with laser therapy.  This too fought back the tumors.  However, in January of 2017 her parents, Thomas and Sarah,  were told Lizzie’s aggressive cancer was back once again.  

Sarah and Thomas both knew at this moment it was time to enucleate.  Sarah says they were both at peace with this decision and confident that it was the very best thing for Lizzie.  

Lizzie had her eye enucleated in January of 2017 and was fitted with her prosthetic eye in February.  Sarah says that since enucleation Lizzie has thrived.  She is now two years old and is very active.  She loves her music and gymnastic classes.  Sarah says she is hitting all the milestones for her age.   Lizzie is still checked every three months and she has a MRI every six months to make sure she is still clear of any regrowth.  Lizzie has now been cancer free for 10 months!  

These two warriors faced their battles together and throughout that developed a bond that will never be broken.  They look forward to moving past these challenging times and moving on to many happy years and filled with wonderful life experiences.