Diagnosis: Bilateral Retinoblastoma
Rocky, now a cheerful and energetic 5-year-old, has come a long way after a grueling battle with bilateral retinoblastoma.
His journey began when he was just 4 months old, during a playful session of tummy time with his loving mother, Kara. It was during this precious moment that Kara noticed something unusual—a cat-like glow in Rocky’s eye. Recognising the significance of this observation, Kara discussed her concerns during a routine chiropractor visit with Rocky. Even the chiropractor noted the eye’s appearance, suggesting that it might be a lazy eye.
Taking swift action, Kara scheduled an appointment with their local doctor (GP) to address her son’s eye condition. While the GP initially didn’t express immediate concern, they wisely decided to refer Rocky to an ophthalmologist for a closer examination.
At the tender age of 8 months, Rocky received a life-altering diagnosis of bilateral retinoblastoma, revealing the presence of tumors in both of his innocent eyes. To make things even harder on the family, Kara was in a huge amount of pain and needed her own surgery to remove a bursting appendix.
What followed was an arduous 18-month-long journey filled with various treatments. This included enduring six months of relentless chemotherapy, cryotherapy, and laser therapy. Unfortunately, despite Rocky’s immense courage and the efforts of Dr Jones from Westmead hospital and his medical teams, the tumors stubbornly persisted.
As a last resort, Rocky faced the heart-wrenching decision to have his left eye removed, after this followed another grueling 6 months of chemotherapy.
Today, Rocky is enjoying life . Despite enduring unimaginable challenges at such a tender age, he remains a vibrant and fun-loving 5-year-old who has faced adversity with unwavering strength and support from his family and his big sister Giselle.
At KTG we are so grateful that Rocky’s mom, Kara, recognized the glow and sought answers! We hope that other parents will see Rocky’s story and share the message of awareness so more children can be identified and guided safely to care!!