Entries by Abby

6 Ways to Help Older Children and Teens Cope With and Conquer Hospital Anxiety

Many children and teenagers experience anxiety with medical interactions after retinoblastoma diagnosis.  Pediatric registered nurse and child life intern, Michelle Badejo, describes how hospital anxiety can manifest, and explores how parents can help them cope, be active participants in their ongoing care, and raise their quality of life.

When Survivors Grow Up: Family Experiences After Retinoblastoma

Retinoblastoma is highly curable, but lifelong impacts are significant for survivors, siblings, parents and extended family. After a particularly painful personal insight, Rb survivor and WE C Hope CEO Abby White asked families and survivors about their own experiences of life beyond childhood eye cancer care.

How Do I Create A Family When I Have An RB1 Mutation?

Individuals who carry an RB1 mutation have a 50% chance of passing the retinoblastoma cancer syndrome on to each child.  Melissa Mills, bilateral retinoblastoma survivor and genetic counsellor, explores the psychological and physical impacts of this experience, and the different routes to creating a family when a prospective parent has an RB1 mutation..

A Day Well Spent – California Family Day

Local in-person support specific to the needs of families and survivors affected by retinoblastoma is much needed but very rare. Lisa Hester, mother of a young Rb survivor, reflects on the second WE C Hope California Family Day, held in August 2019, the seeds of our mission to bring this support to all across America.

Reflections of Camp Sunshine by Rb Moms

A diagnosis of childhood eye cancer impacts families in so many ways, during the immediate crisis of treatment, and years after “cure”. Knowing you are not alone on the journey is the greatest comfort and strength. Five mothers reflect on the healing power of Camp Sunshine, a retreat that cares for the entire family when cancer strikes.

Mindfulness Tips for Retinoblastoma Families and Supporting Teachers

Living with the daily effects of childhood eye cancer can be overwhelming, for all family members. Both the immediate crisis of diagnosis and treatment, and the long-term impacts and risks. Child Life Intern and Student Teacher, Meagan Fuller, highlights some simple mindfulness techniques parents and children can use to ease daily tension.

Retinoblastoma Survivors’ Perspectives on Long-Term Follow up Care

Many retinoblastoma survivors live with significant long term treatment impacts and second cancer risks. Yet most children, adult survivors and their families struggle to access appropriate ongoing care. Len Burns, a totally blind bilateral Rb survivor and licensed family therapist, highlights the most common survivor concerns, and potential ways to improve long term care and quality of life.

When ‘Something’ Looks the Same As ‘Nothing’: Strabismus, Leukocoria and Childhood Eye Cancer

Strabismus (turned eye) and leukocoria (white pupil), the most common signs of retinoblastoma, can also occur in healthy eyes. Sandra Staffieri, Retinoblastoma Care Co-ordinator at the Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne, examines both and answers the key question – when should parents and doctors be concerned?

Celebrating Annie: Guide Dog Retires from WE C Hope Team

Annie, an important member of our team, retired on April 15th. Abby White, retinoblastoma survivor, WE C Hope founder and volunteer CEO, reflects on working with her guide dog for seven years. She considers the many varied gifts Annie has brought to both herself as an individual retinoblastoma survivor, and to WE C Hope.