Meet Anders – Retinoblastoma Warrior
"We could not have given Anders the best possible outcome without their help." –Gini, Anders' mom
Before he was even one year old, Anders’ was diagnosed with Retinoblastoma, a rare, cancerous tumor of the eyes. Anders family had to go to multiple hospitals outside of their hometown in order to get the best treatment for their son.
After battling his disease for 15 months, and just before his second birthday, Anders family faced a critical decision. “Our choice was either remove his eye or fly from Minnesota to New York City for a new treatment,” explains Gini, Anders’ mom. “It was possibly the answer to our prayers.”
The family knew they wanted to do whatever possible to save their son’s vision but previous treatment expenses had depleted the family’s savings and they faced mounting debts. “Our finances were waning, but our resolve to get the best possible treatment for Anders was still fierce,” recalls Gini, “but we weren’t ready to give up and decided to fly to New York.”
Given their financial situation, the family had no idea how they could continue to see a doctor thousands of miles away from their home- until they were connected with The National Children’s Cancer Society (NCCS).
The NCCS assisted Anders and his family with the travel expenses, providing them the opportunity to save his eyes and his life. Gini is thrilled to report the treatment was successful and saved both of his eyes. Gini says of the NCCS, “We could not have given Anders the best possible outcome without their help. For that, we are forever grateful.”
Today, Anders is six years old and doing very well! He is a smart little boy who does well in school, but struggles with some late effects from his treatment. Anders receives follow-up care in New York every six months and the NCCS continues to provide the transportation for Anders and Gini to make those appointments.