Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Bay City, Oregon
Volume 3, Issue 20
August 19, 2008
That all children may grow, play, and be free from the weight of the world. Please join with me today in praying for Ellie, my niece, a 2 year old child full of life, vigor, laughter, and joy. A few days ago her parents, Lori and Brian, noticed that something was wrong with her left eye. The pupil suddenly had a whitish appearance and did not react the same as the right eye. They brought Ellie to the local doctor, who then referred her to a pediatric ophthalmologist. The diagnosis – retinoblastoma, a type of cancer that affects the eye, mostly occurring in children under the age of five.
In Ellie, the large tumor has led to blindness in her left eye. The solution, she has to have her left eye removed. On Thursday, August 21, Ellie has to return to the specialist for a more thorough evaluation of the right eye to ensure that the cancer has not spread to that eye as well, and on Friday August 22 she will be evaluated by a pediatric oncologist. If left untreated, the specialists told my brother and sister-in-law that she would die, but if treated, the outcome is usually very good. Most children go on to lead very normal lives, including playing sports, driving, and many have 20/20 vision in the non-affected eye.
Further tests over the next few days will help clarify the extent of the situation. The pediatric ophthalmologist is very optimistic that removal of the left eye will entirely remove the cancer. She is tentatively scheduled to have the eye removed on Thursday August 28.
As can only be expected, Ellie’s parents, Brian and Lori, and her two older siblings are all quite shocked. The sudden and unexpected news has dealt them a hard blow.
I pray for clarity and wisdom on the part of the medical providers, that Ellie will be well-taken care of and adjust quickly, and that she will recover well. I pray for Brian and Lori, that they can take each doctor’s appointment and finding in stride, with belief that God is in control and rest in him despite seeing their once thought of perfectly healthy little daughter now with this vision-taking disease inside her.