Mum Warns Parents To Look Out For 'White Glow' Cancer Symptom
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A mum has revealed how pictures of her happy, smiling tot hid a potentially deadly secret, as a white 'glow' on his eye turned out to be cancer.
Leonnie Ord said that she started noticing a glow over her one-year-old son Cillian Coyles' left pupil in August, but as it would come and go, she just thought it was the light's reflection.
By October, this became more prominent and had the appearance of a 'cat's eye', causing Leonnie and her fiancé Gary Coyles to seek medical advice.
After undergoing several tests, Cillian's parents were stunned when he was diagnosed with retinoblastoma, a rare type of eye cancer that commonly affects young children.
Little Cillian has lost vision in his left eye as a result of the tumour growing on his optic nerve, and is now having targeted chemotherapy in order to shrink it.
His mother is now urging parents to 'know the glow' as awareness of this tell-tale sign could save a child's sight - and ultimately their life.
Leonnie, from Hebburn, Tyne and Wear, said: "Essentially that happy, smiling picture of him hides a secret that can be deadly if it's not caught in time.
"If you see anything different with your child's eye, you need to get it checked out.
"If you notice something with your friend's child's eye or if you see a photo on Facebook, don't be frightened to alert that parent."
Leonnie said: "Last summer I started noticing a glow to his eye but it wasn't very often at all and I kind of put it down to a light reflection.
"Then I started to notice it a little bit more and we moved to a house, which had a lot more light and then I started noticing it more.
"It was a white glow over all his pupil, it was as if he had a cat's eye."
The mum-of-two contacted her GP and an optician before she rang A&E in October and spoke to a consultant who advised her to bring Cillian in to be seen.
He was then referred to a paediatrician eye doctor who revealed that the one-year-old had lost his vision in his left eye, and that he was almost certain he had retinoblastoma.
Two days later they travelled to Birmingham Children's Hospital where he was officially diagnosed with retinoblastoma.
Cillian is now receiving targeted chemotherapy, including intravitreal chemotherapy eye injections.
Leonnie said: "The treatment shrinks and also calcifies the tumour. It's more than likely always going to be in his eye but it will be calcified and it kind of kills the tumour.
The family have set up a JustGiving page to raise funds for the Childhood Eye Cancer Trust and Leonnie will be completing the Great North Run this September.
You can donate to their fundraising page here.