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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Just 3 paediatric oncologists serve Ghana’s population of 29 million, but this dedicated team leads one of the best childhood cancer programs in West Africa. Dr. Vera Essuman (paediatric ophthalmologist) and Prof. Lorna Renner (paediatric oncologist) discuss retinoblastoma in Ghana and the development of care for children with eye cancer across the country.