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Editor’s Note: Spencer County Relay for Life 2012 — “Networking for a Cure” — will once again be submitting personal cancer stories to the Spencer Magnet prior to June 8, 2012 — Relay Night. This story was written by Lori Riddle, mother of Brady, who was diagnosed with retinoblastoma.
Before last year’s Relay for Life event, I shared the details of the day that my son, Brady, was diagnosed with cancer. It was retinoblastoma, and he was only two and a half years old. I had taken him to his well checkup and his pediatrician discovered the abnormality.
What is retinoblastoma? It is a rare, rapidly developing cancerous tumor on the retina. It is a mutation in the newly forming cells that causes the cells to become cancerous. It usually affects children under the age of 6 years old, primarily 1-2 years of age, and affects approximately 1 in every 15,000 births. It can be genetic or sporadic. One or both eyes may be affected. Fortunately, it is a curable cancer.
One of the most noticeable symptoms is seen in photographs. Instead of the typical “red eye,” there is a white glow or pupil distortion. This is what his pediatrician was seeing during her exam. We were told by every medical professional that we met, that it was an amazing catch by a pediatrician to recognize this uncommon condition at a well checkup. We will always be grateful to Dr. Liz Dedman.
This April marked two years since Brady was diagnosed with cancer. We traveled back to Philadelphia where his surgery was performed and his opthamologist determined that he had healed very well from the enucleation — the removal of his left eye. His right eye still shows no signs of cancer. Dr. Shields also performed a thorough exam on our youngest son, Seth. He shows no signs of the cancer.
By writing this article, we want to stress how extremely important well checkups are for our children’s health. If Brady had not been diagnosed when he had been, he may not have lived to see his birthday in October. Now, he has many more years ahead of him. He is a wonderful child that enjoys preschool, soccer and everything else that kids do. He is full of energy and I cherish every day that I get to look at his beautiful eyes.
We would like to thank all of our family and friends for their continued love and support. We are blessed to be part of a great community that supports Relay for Life. Our team “The Brady Bunch,” was formed to honor Brady and Joann Elmore. Joann was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2010. She is a strong and wonderful woman that we proudly stand beside. Our hope is that you will volunteer or donate to this great cause as we look forward to many more happy and healthy years.