They say that a picture is worth a thousand words, but the picture taken of this toddler was worth far more. Like any loving mom,Â Tina Treadwell constantly took pictures of her son, Taylor. She even planned on sending the pictures to a modeling agency. But, when Tina’s sister Geraldine looked at the pictures, she noticed something odd. She saw a “shadow” in Taylor’s eyes, and insisted Tina take him to get checked out.
Once Taylor was seen by a doctor, he confirmed Geraldine’s suspicions. Taylor hadÂ rare childhood eye cancer called “Retinoblastoma”.
[The doctor]Â asked me to bring in some photos, so I flicked through all the ones Iâ€™d taken since Taylor was born.
The glow was there, in his right eye. Even in one where he was just four days old. Iâ€™d spotted it before, but assumed it was the camera flash.
I wondered if he always had cancer.
Retinoblastoma is a rare disease.Â Only about 200 to 300 children are diagnosed with retinoblastoma each year in the United States.Â The average age of children when they are diagnosed is 2. It rarely occurs in children older than 6.
Childhood Eye Cancer Trust (CHECT) heard about Taylorâ€™s story and asked to use him as one of their campaign models.
We leapt at the chance to get involved,â€™ his mother said. â€˜At the studio Taylor was in his element. The photographer said he was a natural.
CHECT UKÂ has an early detection campaign that every parent should read. ItÂ shows an easy way to detect possible retinoblastoma in your children. The video shows the campaignâ€™sÂ posters that contain reflective ink that helpsÂ parents to see how the indicator spots in childrenâ€™s pupils show up when flash photography is used.
If you have a child under the age of 6, use a cell phone camera and flash a photo like you usually would. But this time, look a little closer, it could just save your child’s life.