Toddler Sees Good in All Things

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Four-year-old Alissa Galindo was diagnosed with Retinoblastoma shortly after she was born. 

Retinoblastoma is a VERY rare disease. There are fewer than 20,000 cases diagnosed every year.The cancer starts with cells going out of control in the retina, which is the very back part of your eye. Retinoblastoma develops well before birth or during the early stages of development.The eyes have cells called “retinoblast”.

    School Nurse Broome said, “With Retinoblastoma, there are aches in the eye, as well as a glow in the eye when taking a picture with flash. It can also include painful red eye or crossed eye.”

     Most of the time, the child develops more than one tumor in one or both eyes. It depends if the child has bilateral Retinoblastoma. 

    The 4-year-old cancer survivor said, “Having a prosthetic eye [doesn’t matter]. I feel that I am a very beautiful person whether I have cancer and a fake eye or not.

     When having the eye disease, you have an increased risk of having any other type of cancer as well.

   Megan Galindo, Alissa’s mom, said, “When Alissa was diagnosed, it devastated the whole family.”

      The cancer usually affects children, though sometimes if affects adults. But it is mostly discovered before the time before the age of 3-4 months of being born, but anything can happen with the genetic mutation you have.

   “When we found out Alissa had survived cancer, we were so thankful to the doctors who never gave up on her and always kept trying everything they could so Alissa could survive what she had,” Galindo senior said. “The doctors at St. Jude Research Hospital were just the best doctors any mother could wish for and count on for helping their child survive the devastating and unfortunate disease that these kids have.”