A first-time mum has warned other parents to get any changes or abnormalities they notice in their babies checked out immediately, after her 6-month-old daughter was diagnosed with eye cancer.
Baby Darcey was diagnosed with a cancerous tumour in one eye after a student of her piano teacher mum noticed it had a yellow glow. Though the glow is a telltale sign of cancer, Darcey’s parents had no idea it could be something so serious.
“My husband and I had also seen this,” explained mum Ali Fryer-Bovill, “But Darcey was our first baby and everything was new to us.”
“If we had known this glow was a symptom, Darcey could have been diagnosed and had treatment earlier,” Ali added.
Darcey is now undergoing chemotherapy to treat the tumour, and it seems to be working. But her late diagnosis has raised fears that she could still lose her eye.
Mum Ali has shared her daughter’s battle with cancer in the hope that it will help other parents to recognise the signs. “One way of spotting it is in a photo which produces red eyes,” Ali said. “With a retinoblastoma, the light bounces back off the tumour so there is no red eye, only a disc of white. I can see that in the early days with Darcey, on pictures taken with my mobile.”
Reassuringly, the condition affects only 40 to 50 children a year in the UK. But if you do notice oddities in your baby’s eyes, it’s always worth getting them checked out.