A family gathers around a picnic table for this photo. Some are sitting, some standing, all smiling. Several people are wearing childhood cancer awareness gold ribbons and t-shirts. One girl’s t-shirt reads “I am a fighter; childhood cancer awareness”. The stick part of the letter H in “fighter” is replaced by a gold ribbon. ¬¬¬¬¬¬Across the table, a young child’s t-shirt bears another gold ribbon, and the words “for my sister”. A woman stands behind wearing a t-shirt with a big gold ribbon printed over a repeated series of words in various fonts – the words include “fighter, warrior, brave, believe, courage, hope, love”.

Sun and Smiles Shine at the 5th Annual Southern California Retinoblastoma Family Day

In-person contact with other families and survivors affected by childhood eye cancer is life-changing. On November 5th, World Eye Cancer Hope USA hosted 80 retinoblastoma community members for a picnic party in glorious fall sunshine.  Marissa D. Gonzalez, bilateral Rb survivor, and President and founding board member of WE C Hope USA, shares highlights from the day of sunshine and smiles.

A faded portrait of a toddler Marissa and her grandmother, sitting together on outdoor steps.

Living With Vision Loss: Challenges and Changing Perspectives

For many survivors of bilateral retinoblastoma, vision changes throughout life. This may be due to treatment late effects, eye health, or other medical events. World Eye Cancer Hope USA President and founding board member, Marissa D. Gonzalez, recounts her journey with vision loss during two different seasons of life, and her difficult course with acquired blindness as an adult after decades of good sight.

Image: A group of people gathered under a tree are smiling at the camera. On the left, Melinda wears a blue top. In the middle, Marissa wears a One Retinoblastoma World t-shirt and holds a white cane. To the right of the frame, Clayonia holds Camilla and waves at the camera. Max stands in front of them, holding his white cane. Behind them, a bright blue sky sweeps over rich foliage and red-roofed buildings.

Midwest Retinoblastoma Family Weekend: Friendships Formed in the Windy City

This summer, patients, survivors and families gathered for the first-ever Midwest Retinoblastoma Family Weekend, just outside Chicago. WE C Hope USA President and Rb survivor, Marissa Gonzalez, reflects on the friendship, support, hope, and fun shared, and the importance of coming together in person as a community. She also gives an update on more events coming soon to other regions across the USA.

Marissa and her mother are smiling at the camera. Marissa is wearing a black and gold number 6 USC football jersey. Her mom is wearing a cardinal USC shirt. Behind them stands the statue of Tommy Trojan on the USC campus.

A Milestone Anniversary: Celebrating 30 Years Being Cancer Free

For many children and their families, eye cancer diagnosis begins a lifetime journey, with many twists and turns through treatment and long after being declared cancer free. World Eye Cancer Hope USA President Marissa D. Gonzalez reflects on three decades being cancer free from retinoblastoma, the journey of a cancer survivor, and the future with her cancerversary fundraiser.

The words “Thank You” are written in script on a dark red background infused with light, surrounded by glowing red, gold and white love hearts.

Happy Holidays from World Eye Cancer Hope!

2020 has been eventful and challenging for the whole world.  Throughout, WE C Hope has continued to serve, unite and advance our global retinoblastoma community. WE C Hope USA President and retinoblastoma survivor, Marissa Gonzalez, reflects on the year’s highlights with thanks, and shares some plans for the coming year.

Marissa smiles as she holds a gold Kendra Scott jewelry box in her left hand and a One Retinoblastoma World 2017 program in her right hand. She is wearing a grey top and the Elisa Gold Triple Strand Necklace in Ivory Mother-of-Pearl. The necklace combines three chains with unique personalities and Kendra Scott’s iconic oval shape to create a layered look. The photo is taken outside, where a Stars and stripes flag is visible in the top right background.

Give Back This September with Kendra Scott

Our first virtual family event was a great success, with added sparkle from Kendra Scott jewelry. Please help us support more families by shopping at KendraScott.com on Sat 12 – Sun 13 September. They’ll donate to WE C Hope 20% of sales made using code GIVEBACK8400. Shine gold this September Childhood Cancer Month.

A child life specialist blows bubbles through an anesthesia mask towards a little girl

Child Life in Retinoblastoma Care

Child life can profoundly impact a child’s experience of retinoblastoma, and their quality of life. However, many children treated at specialist retinoblastoma centres lack child life support, and their parents feel unsupported, compared with other cancer patients. Abby White explores the challenges and ways to overcome them.

A female adult plays patient, cared for by a group of children dressed in medical outfits. She wears an eye patch on her left eye, and the children put bandaids on her arms. One of the children is wearing an anaesthetic mask.

Child Life Programs: Play With Purpose at Retinoblastoma Gatherings

Eye cancer is a potentially overwhelming experience for young children, whether patient or sibling. Child life can radically improve care and life for the entire family, but too many children lack access to this specialist support. Abby White shares how WE C Hope supported Child Life programs are helping to change that.

A young girl smiles broadly as she holds her arm out, thumb up.

International Care: Challenges and Opportunities

Families and medical professionals worldwide seek retinoblastoma care at centres offering treatments that are unavailable in their home country. Many families contact WE C Hope for assistance before, during or after such treatment. Abby White explores the challenges they experience and what can be done to help improve outcomes for their children.

Text above reads: "Speak Up" Image of an open book, its pages glowing gold and emitting sparks of light. Text below reads: "Share Your Retinoblastoma Story."

4 Key Ways Sharing Your Story Makes a Difference, and Tips for Telling

Every individual in the retinoblastoma community has a unique story to tell – whether parent, survivor, sibling, professional, extended family member or supporter. Abby White explores the importance of storytelling, and the many ways in which sharing your story can make a difference – to your own life, and to the world.