About 6 years ago Lydia’s teenage daughter Rachael, passed away after complications from a bone marrow disease, Severe Aplastic Anemia. This year on May 24th, her granddaughter Audrey Mae Jones at just 7 months old, was diagnosed with Bilateral Retinoblastoma.
Retinoblastoma (Rb) is a rare form of cancer that rapidly develops from the immature cells of a retina, the light-detecting tissue of the eye. It is the most common primary malignant intraocular cancer in children, and it is almost exclusively found in young children.
Audrey’s mom Jennifer, tells us she took her baby girl to a pediatric eye doctor because her left eye was veering to the side. They simply thought their baby girl would come home with an eye patch or baby glasses. Instead, that day baby Audrey’s parents also heard the words, “Your child has cancer.” They received the devastating diagnosis—cancer in both eyes. The tumor in the right eye was about a third of the eye space; the tumor in the left eye, however, took up almost the entire eye space.
There have been many ups and downs—immunodeficiency, neutropenia, pain after treatment, port placement problems, respiratory issues, fevers, vomiting/diarrhea, trips to the ER. It’s been six months of monthly systemic chemo, laser and/or cryotherapy treatments, followed by almost monthly scans under anesthesia to see what progress or changes were occurring after each treatment.
As of right now, baby Audrey’s tumors are considered ‘inactive.’ Despite this, her tumors are still there and will always be there. We pray they will not become active again, but that chance hangs over her. At this point, the main objective is to try to save the structure of the eyes, especially the left eye. She has less sight in her left, at this point, than her right eye.
Through it all, 14 month old Audrey has been a warrior. She has managed many days to soldier through and her shining little personality has won the hearts of everyone. She is so brave for one so small.
Her family, once again is phasing another fatal disease. Her brother, Jack, is 4 years old. He is a good big brother to her, but he doesn’t quite understand the gravity of her illness and gets jealous at times because of all the attention given her. Her mom, Jennifer, quit work to take care of a sick child, and her dad, Ian is the only breadwinner at this time. Needless to say, this family is stretched emotionally, physically, and financially.
We are truly honored to be able to assist this family, in memory of their beloved Rachael Davies💜.