Story

Kyle was born on May 28th, 2002.

Couple of days after he turned two, I made his 2 year old check-up appointment. I had been noticing what looked like a “glare” in his left eye. I also started placing my finger and other objects over this eye and noticed he acted as if he couldn’t see them. Alarmed slightly, I mentioned it to his pediatrician. He said he thought it may be a cataract but for us to come back the next day because they had a ophthalmologist flying in for a scheduled visit and he could look at Kyle while he was here.

So the next day we see that doctor and he seemed quite alarmed and informed us that we had to immediately fly to Tripler Hospital in Hawaii for testing. He informed us that he thought our son had an eye cancer called Retinoblastoma. We were terrified and flew to Tripler three days later.

Upon arrival at Tripler, he underwent extensive testing for two weeks. He had MRI’s, bone scans, cat scans, bone marrow testing and eye exams. He had a cyst on his pineal gland in his brain that they were questioning if it was a brain tumor. Later determined to be just a cyst. A brain tumor on this gland is 100% fatal. (Trilateral retinoblastoma).

We were then sent to Philadelphia to see Dr. Carol Shields. She is one of the top doctors in the world that deal with this type of cancer. We know refer to her as our gift from God! She told us that his left eye had such an aggressive tumor that we had to remove his eye asap or he would only have months to live. With that said we scheduled his enucleation(eye removal) two days later. That was the most emotional day for both Jeff and I.

The surgery went well and chemo was started the next day for the four tumors in the other eye. Kyle received his chemo treatments at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia under the care of Dr. Ann Leahy. She is an amazing lady with a heart of gold!

Then in September 2004, Kyle gave us the biggest scare of our lives! He developed sepsis (a serious infection in the blood stream that makes you very ill, very fast and can be fatal). He was rushed to the ER with a very low blood pressure and a fever of 105 degrees. He was knocking on death’s door! He stayed in the pediatric ICU for 4 days until the antibiotic and blood pressure medicine started winning the battle. He then stayed in the hospital for 10 days receiving around the clock antibiotics. By the last two days of his stay, he had his plastic ball and club hitting around in the hospital room.

Kyle’s last chemo treatment was in Dec. of 2004. He has been cancer free since then with no reoccurrences. He still goes for follow up appointments and will be monitored throughout life. He is truly an amazing boy! He has successfully had a prosthetic eye lens placed and carries on as a normal 9 year old boy!