Mom catches 2-year-old’s eye cancer by snapping photo


ABC Breaking US News | ABC Politics News

Julie Fitzgerald had been worried about some strange spots she saw on her 2-year-old’s eye, but she initially brushed them off.

Then, she saw a viral story on Facebook about how a white glow that appeared in someone’s eye in pictures could signal cancer. She decided to snap a photo of Avery.

And there it was, the white glow.

“I just had this gut feeling in my stomach that something was wrong with his eye,” Fitzgerald told ABC News.

PHOTO: Avery Fitzgerald, 2, of Rockford, Ill. plays with his brother after his left eye was removed due to cancer.
Avery Fitzgerald, 2, of Rockford, Ill. plays with his brother after his left eye was removed due to cancer. (Photo: ABC News)

Doctors diagnosed Avery with retinoblastoma and said cancerous tumors covered 75 percent of his eye, she said. They removed it entirely, but said they caught the cancer just in time, Fitzgerald told ABC News.

“If we did not get this eye out, the cancer would spread to his blood and to his brain,” Fitzgerald said. “Our lives went from normal to cancer to a cancer survivor in three weeks. It turned out to be our worst nightmare but it saved our son’s life.”

Joanna Murphy caught the rare cancer last month after noticing a white glow in her daughter’s eye. Then, Tara Taylor’s Facebook friend noticed a glow in her daughter’s eye, prompting the diagnosis of another rare eye disease.

“It is a medical emergency,” said Dr. Richard Besser, ABC News chief health and medical editor. “You need to see your doctor right away. It may be retinoblastoma. But if you miss that sign, it is usually fatal.”

PHOTO: Avery Fitzgerald, 2, of Rockford, Ill. is seen with his father after his left eye was removed due to cancer.
Avery Fitzgerald, 2, of Rockford, Ill. is seen with his father after his left eye was removed due to cancer. (Photo: ABC News)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s