Tag Archive for: cancer survivorship

Two young girls stand together on a large tree stump in a wooded park.

Laughter, Life Lessons and Love Take Root at the Texas Rb Family Weekend

In-person contact with other families and survivors affected by childhood eye cancer is life-changing. On 2-4 December, the Lone Star State shone bright as World Eye Cancer Hope USA welcomed survivors, patients and families from across the state. Marissa D. Gonzalez, bilateral Rb survivor, and President and founding board member of WE C Hope USA, shares highlights from the festive weekend.

A family gathers around a picnic table for this photo. Some are sitting, some standing, all smiling. Several people are wearing childhood cancer awareness gold ribbons and t-shirts. One girl’s t-shirt reads “I am a fighter; childhood cancer awareness”. The stick part of the letter H in “fighter” is replaced by a gold ribbon. ¬¬¬¬¬¬Across the table, a young child’s t-shirt bears another gold ribbon, and the words “for my sister”. A woman stands behind wearing a t-shirt with a big gold ribbon printed over a repeated series of words in various fonts – the words include “fighter, warrior, brave, believe, courage, hope, love”.

Sun and Smiles Shine at the 5th Annual Southern California Retinoblastoma Family Day

In-person contact with other families and survivors affected by childhood eye cancer is life-changing. On November 5th, World Eye Cancer Hope USA hosted 80 retinoblastoma community members for a picnic party in glorious fall sunshine.  Marissa D. Gonzalez, bilateral Rb survivor, and President and founding board member of WE C Hope USA, shares highlights from the day of sunshine and smiles.

A faded portrait of a toddler Marissa and her grandmother, sitting together on outdoor steps.

Living With Vision Loss: Challenges and Changing Perspectives

For many survivors of bilateral retinoblastoma, vision changes throughout life. This may be due to treatment late effects, eye health, or other medical events. World Eye Cancer Hope USA President and founding board member, Marissa D. Gonzalez, recounts her journey with vision loss during two different seasons of life, and her difficult course with acquired blindness as an adult after decades of good sight.

Image: A group of people gathered under a tree are smiling at the camera. On the left, Melinda wears a blue top. In the middle, Marissa wears a One Retinoblastoma World t-shirt and holds a white cane. To the right of the frame, Clayonia holds Camilla and waves at the camera. Max stands in front of them, holding his white cane. Behind them, a bright blue sky sweeps over rich foliage and red-roofed buildings.

Midwest Retinoblastoma Family Weekend: Friendships Formed in the Windy City

This summer, patients, survivors and families gathered for the first-ever Midwest Retinoblastoma Family Weekend, just outside Chicago. WE C Hope USA President and Rb survivor, Marissa Gonzalez, reflects on the friendship, support, hope, and fun shared, and the importance of coming together in person as a community. She also gives an update on more events coming soon to other regions across the USA.

Marissa and her mother are smiling at the camera. Marissa is wearing a black and gold number 6 USC football jersey. Her mom is wearing a cardinal USC shirt. Behind them stands the statue of Tommy Trojan on the USC campus.

A Milestone Anniversary: Celebrating 30 Years Being Cancer Free

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.

A slide from Sarah’s presentation, titled “Thank You”, with a single photo and the One Rb World 2021 Logo below. In the photo, Sarah sits on a rock structure at the top of a mountain. Her body is facing to the left, her legs outstretched, and her feet resting on a different rock. She is leaning against the rock she is seated on, looking away from the camera at the view. Slivers of blue sky peak through the blanket of clouds, and in the distance, many trees, farms, fields and national parkland can be seen from this high vantage point.

One Rb World 2021: Planning, Creating, Sharing and Raising Hope Together

On 1-3 October, we hosted a hope-filled One Rb World 2021 meeting. Planning and hosting is always an adventure, and the 6th One Rb World was especially so! Co-Chairs, Dr. Sandra Staffieri PhD, Rb Care Co-Ordinator, Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne, Australia, and Marissa Gonzalez, Bilateral Rb Survivor and President, World Eye Cancer Hope USA, share behind-the-scenes insight and conference highlights.

The book When sadness is at your door by Eva Eland sits on a child’s lap as they hold it. The book is opened to a page showing an illustration of a child standing on a tree stump hugging a blue shadow that is their sadness. The text on the page reads “Maybe all it wants to know is that it is welcome”.

How to Help Your Child Work Through BIG Emotions

Young children are often overwhelmed by big emotions in the natural process of their development. When they face ongoing stressors like cancer or a pandemic, giving them support, tools and skills to learn about and work through their emotions is critical. Child life specialist Rebekah Reimer provides some practical guidance to help.

Promotional card in tropical colours. Text reads: "One Retinoblastoma World. Virtual Conference, October 1-3. A global conference for eye and cancer specialists, researchers, parents, and survivors. Register Today!” www.wechope.org/onerbworld

Register Now for One Retinoblastoma World 2021 – Sharing Ideas, Opportunities and Friendship

As the 6th One Retinoblastoma World Conference fast approaches, this year’s organizers Sandra Staffieri and Marissa Gonzalez, together with Megan Webber, are excited to share an update. They give an overview of the program, highlighting some of the sessions and goals, and the need for global discussion and collaboration involving all stakeholders.

A pink banner with the words “register now” spans the top of the image. Diamond Head in Honolulu is bathed in light, under a slightly cloudy blue sky. The One Rb World logo includes a yellow flower for Hawaii. Text reads: One Retinoblastoma World | Virtual Conference | October 1-3, 2021

Register Now for One Retinoblastoma World 2021 Virtual Conference!

Join World Eye Cancer Hope and local organizers from Australia for the sixth One Retinoblastoma World Conference, taking place virtually from October 1 – 3, 2021. Marissa Gonzalez, WE C Hope USA President, and this year’s Hosting Chair, introduces the conference and what’s in store for this unique collaborative program uniting professionals, families and survivors.

A cream deconrated stone lays on a bed of grey stones. The word “Breathe” is written across the stone in flowing black script, accented with white dots. The portion of stone below the word is decorated with waves and water droplets in light, mid and dark blue, and mid green. They are all outlined in a series of tiny white dots.

Breathing for Wellness: Why Breath Matters, and 8 Ways to Breathe Out Stress

When we are anxious or angry, we tense up and hold our breath, or breathe fast and shallow, further increasing stress. Slow, deep breathing almost instantly diffuses tension, helping us feel calm, clear-headed and in control. Abby White explores why our bodies react this way, and how we can use our breath to restore calm fast.