A group of teenagers enjoy a game of volleyball on a sand court surrounded by trees, under a cloud-dusted blue sky.

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.

A large group photo, showing 40+ people of all ages.

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.

An African doctor looks on as another uses a handheld digital camera to visualise a child's eyes during an exam under anaesthesia.

TNM Staging System for Retinoblastoma

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.

A woman sits alone on a bench under a sprawling weeping willow tree in a park. She is facing away from the camera.

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.

A baby boy looks at the camera. his right eye shows a white reflex while his left eye is turned in towards his nose.

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.

Latifa and her mother

Retinoblastoma in Ghana: Saving Children’s Life and Sight

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.

Jayne and a child are pictured wearing long yarn wigs of different colours.

Jayne Kamau, My Friend and Colleague

On March 10, 2019, our beloved child life specialist Jayne Kamau died aboard Ethiopian Airlines flight ET302 as she returned home from SIOPAfrica in Cairo. WE C Hope Child Life Director, Morgan Livingstone, reflects on more than a decade of mentoring, friendship and working together to advance child life in Kenya. Co-authored with WE C Hope CEO, Abby White.

2 people side by side at a wooden table, one working on a laptop the other writing in a notebook. Only their hands are visible.

4 Reasons Survivors and Families May Not Participate in Retinoblastoma Research, and Ways to Improve Engagement.

Survivor participation in retinoblastoma research is key to understanding long-term impacts of the cancer, and improving care. But many barriers to participation exist Len Burns, a blind bilateral Rb survivor and licensed family therapist, considers four major barriers, and opportunities to overcome them.

Artistic tree in white and gold ribbon on red background, surrounded by snow and tiny and large snowflakes. Below, a wave of opaque white ribbon flows across the image.

Our 2018 Blog Year in Review

The WE C Hope blog has been busy in 2018. We’ve shared 24 posts from 17 authors – parents, survivors, researchers or professionals providing retinoblastoma-related care. Each has brought valuable experience, knowledge and perspective, and we are very thankful to them all. Here is a recap of posts we’ve shared in the past 12 months.