The little girl was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer called bilateral retinoblastoma. It affects only 250 to 300 children a year.
There might be moments in our life when we have a hunch about something and it completely takes us over until we do something about it. All of us have something of a sixth sense or intuition that helps us in difficult times. One woman, who trusted her intuition, was able to save her child from a difficult fate.
Jasmine Martin initially noted a "small glow" in her 17-month-old daughter Sariyah's eye but didn't think much of it. On July 30, "it was like a moon," Jasmine told Good Morning America (GMA). The concerned mom couldn't ignore it anymore and uploaded a photo of her daughter's on Facebook asking for advice. Many people told her that the formation could be cancerous, so she sought a doctor's appointment for her child.
The Knoxville, Tennessee, mom was told by her doctor's pediatrician that it was nothing to worry about but she was not convinced. "It was going to take weeks to get an ophthalmologist appointment," Martin told GMA. She sent a photo to a friend working at a hospital. The friend helped out by showing the photo to a doctor and as a result, her child got an urgent appointment.
"She was taken to St. Jude's that night," Jasmine told GMA. In an Instagram post on August 4, Jasmine wrote, "'She has a tumor in her eye, and there’s a lot of seeds in the back.' It was like I was sitting outside of my body at that moment. The rest was a blur, and friends from work walked over and played with Riyah while I talked with the doctor. St.Judes wants us there today, so we can meet with a doctor that specializes in retinoblastoma in the morning. She said I need to plan to stay for a week. I’m scared, confused, angry heartbroken, and everything else."
"I’m upset her pediatrician said it was all fine, but now I know they just don’t see it that often. When this is over I’ll do my best to make sure there is more awareness and education so that all parents will be taken seriously should they ever notice it in their child’s eyes," she added.
Sariyah was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer called bilateral retinoblastoma. The cancer is so rare that it affects only about 250-300 children each year. It "typically develops in children before 5 years of age. This cancer develops in the retina -- the part of the eye that helps a person see color and light. Retinoblastoma may affect one or both eyes. In about two-thirds of all cases only one eye is affected," the St. Jude's website reads.
Jasmine updated her followers on social media about her daughter's health recently. "We are so early in this but ... days are mentally draining, because you just never know what they are going to find. It’s hard and it’s scary. If I allow myself to really think about it, if something happens to the good eye, then there’s still so many risks with the right eye. It’s a never-ending battle of what-ifs right now," she added.
In another post, she added that she feels "so much guilt" for not acting faster when she saw the "tiny glow" in her child's eye. "I had no clue," the mom laments. However, what matters is that she took urgent action the moment she realized that something was wrong and that is the reason her child is getting the care she needs now.
Her daughter is struggling but she is "happy" even though she's going through a hard battle. "You wouldn't even know she is going through this," Jasmine said, referring to her treatment, which included hospital stays and chemotherapy. "Even when it makes her sick and she has a fever she's still playing with her siblings," Martin told GMA.