We bring life-saving hope to families around the world devastated by childhood eye cancer.
Imagine first seeing a white eye glow and a gut feeling that something is wrong, struggling to get a diagnosis, then finding out your child has cancer. Journeying alone to an unfamiliar city for care you know you cannot afford. Your gifts enable the expert care, emotional and practical support that save lives in so many ways. Thank you very much!
This poem represents the experiences of many families whose lives are abundantly blessed by the generosity that makes our work possible.
Early last September
When I was not quite two years old,
My mummy told my daddy
She thought my eye was glowing gold.
My daddy thought it very odd –
He never saw it in the light,
But on my birthday in November
He saw it clearly shining white.
We went to see the doctor
Who said I’d be just fine.
Perhaps it was infected
This funny eye of mine.
He gave my mum some medicine
But the glow grew only bigger,
At New Year we saw the herbalist
He said “Wash the eye with vinegar”.
Mum screamed “No, we’ll find a way
To see an optomologist”.
They feared the cost, but love me so –
To save money, daily meals they missed.
We took a crowded clanking bus,
To the city far away.
Mummy had never been there
Before that Valentine day.
The doctor looked inside my eye.
He did lots of different tests.
When he said my eye had cancer,
My mummy simply wept.
She never thought that cancer
Could be growing in my eye.
She was frightened of the treatment
And terrified I’d die.
The doctor told my mummy
The only way to save my life
Would be to take my eye away –
The telling cut her like a knife.
My mum and dad were very scared.
They couldn’t give consent.
They imagined me with just one eye,
And all the things that meant.
People here don’t understand.
They think such children cursed.
My parents prayed for another way,
But they always put me first.
The doctor sent my mummy
To a special charity –
World Eye Cancer Hope
Helps children just like me.
There my mum had time to talk
With folks who understand,
Who explain and answer questions.
They let her cry and held her hand.
They patiently supported her
Through her broken heart’s debate.
They encouraged her to trust
And let the doctor operate.
Time was running out for me –
If the cancer escaped my eye,
I’d need intensive costly chemo
And would more than likely die.
Daddy came to join us
On our second week in town.
I’ve never seen him cry before –
He looked so beaten down.
My mum and dad were so distraught
But together we were brave.
We went back to see the doctor,
And vital consent they gave.
At the hospital I had a nurse
Who helped chase my fears away.
WE C Hope had trained her
In special “child life” play.
She let me play with the sleepy mask
And “took blood” from my cloth doll’s arm.
I blew bubbles when the needles hurt,
To help me stay very calm.
Two days later – March the 1st,
I had my operation.
The doctor took away my eye,
He said that was my salvation.
While I was still asleep in surgery,
The doctor gave me a special eye
That WE C Hope had bought for me
That gift makes my spirit fly.
WE C Hope set up a lab
Where clever doctors examined my eye
They found the cancer has not spread.
Now it’s tears of joy we cry.
When my parents first heard “cancer”
They thought all hope was gone,
But now they are ecstatic
Because the battle has been won.
Because of care from WE C Hope,
Help for mummy, daddy and me,
Because of your donations,
I’m alive and cancer free!