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.
A White pupil is the most common early sign of eye cancer in young children, and it’s usually seen first in photos. Do you want to turn your smartphone into a powerful cancer-detector? Mark Billings, WE C Hope USA Director, tells the story behind the CRADLE app and explains how you can help scientists improve it.
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.
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..
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.
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 is staged to help doctors describe the extent of cancer in a child’s body, define potential for cure, vision and eye salvage, identify the best treatments, and compare impact of different therapies. Dr. Ashwin Mallipatna explains the TNM Staging System for Retinoblastoma and why it is the best approach for patient 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.
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?