The earlier cancer is diagnosed, the easier it is to treat, often requiring less intense therapy and fewer invasive procedures that have lower cost physically, emotionally and financially. Awareness of childhood cancer is key to achieving early diagnosis, saving lives and limiting the burden of cancer treatment on the child, family and wider society.
Our Global Rb Scientist, Dr. Helen Dimaras, is leading a major initiative to advance digital pathology consultations at our pathology Lab in Nairobi, thanks to a $100,000 grant from Grand Challenges Canada. The digital RbCoLab will significantly improve care for each child by rapidly identifying their true risk and need for further treatment after their eye has been removed.
Our child life leaders are excited to be bringing child life skills to the children they care for. Their knowledge, vision and dedication will enrich paediatric health care and children’s lives beyond measure.
People often ask me incredulously “why would parents refuse eye removed surgery if it’s the only way to save their child’s life?” This is a very important question. Understanding the complex answers helps us care for families to ensure children have the best chance of cure.
Two children. The same affliction. Drastically different outcomes. Yet each story represents the most common reality for children with retinoblastoma in these respective parts of the world.
The challenges surrounding eye removal stigma are complex, but our passion to overcome them is stronger. I feel honoured to have a special eye and to be able to use it to help spread the message and save lives.