Meet Sophia – Retinoblastoma Warrior
"Though this entire ordeal has been a nightmare, the silver lining is the support and outreach we have received from our community and organizations like NCCS who care."
“On September 11, 2014, our life changed forever when our 1 1/2 year old daughter Sophia was diagnosed with bilateral retinoblastoma” said her mother Janai. Within hours of hearing that devastating news, Sophia’s family embarked on the four-hour drive to see a specialist in the field. “Our entire life was turned upside down,” she said. Normalcy was replaced with exams under anesthesia, chemotherapy, cryotherapy and frequent trips to the specialists.” Although both eyes are stricken with tumors, Sophia’s left eye has always been worse. Her cancer is very aggressive so doctors have recommended increasingly aggressive forms of treatment. Within the last year, Sophia has undergone over ten cryotherapy and five intra-arterial chemotherapy treatments to her eyes and systemic chemotherapy through a port in her chest to combat the disease.
All of Sophia’s treatments and exams take place in San Francisco which is a four- hour drive from home. Her family typically stays in San Francisco for a few days and these trips quickly become very expensive with parking, food and lodging. “Thanks to NCCS, these trips are much less of a financial burden,” said Janai. “Though this entire ordeal has been a nightmare, the silver lining is the support and outreach we have received from our community and organizations like NCCS who care. We fight together as a team to try and save her vision and more importantly, her life.”