Advertisement

Keeping the Faith


While four-month-old Kaden was seated in his bouncy seat, his mother, Kristie Miller, noticed a white glow in his eye which prompted her to research it. “Like many do, I looked it up online. I saw several things it could be: Was he blind? Was it a lazy eye? Once I saw cancer, I quit reading,” she shares.

As a preschool teacher, Kristie is all about catching things early, so she took Kaden to his pediatrician to have his eye checked. Kaden’s pediatrician also thought that the glow in his eye could be a lazy eye or it could be cataracts, which would require him to have surgery. The family was referred to a pediatric ophthalmologist. 

“At that time, I did something I never do. I called my mom and asked her to attend the appointment with me. When we got there, they did an ultrasound on his eye and the doctor let us know that it was retinoblastoma, and that we were being sent to St. Jude. My world just stopped.”

By the end of the week, the family was at St. Jude, leaving little time to process the news. The doctors performed an EUA, exam under anesthesia, to confirm Kaden’s diagnosis. They discovered that the tumor was small, but the retina had already detached.

“We were given two options: chemo and save his eye or enucleation, which would remove his eye,” Kristie explains. “We wanted to do chemo because we couldn’t imagine taking our child’s eye. However, once they gave my husband the packet on chemo, he couldn’t even finish reading it. We learned that we wouldn’t be able to touch him while he was doing chemo because we could not come in contact with his bodily fluids.”

The Millers knew that not being able to come into contact with their son would be too hard because that connection was so important in a child’s development. They also knew it would be difficult to explain to his siblings that they could not hold their baby brother.

“It was a very difficult decision to make. We talked with our pastor because we couldn’t decide on what to do because we couldn’t just take his eye. However, our pastor told us, ‘You did not take his eye, cancer did.’ That really helped us. When we received the call that our baby was cancer free, we knew we made the right decision,” she shares.

Now one year old, Kaden is doing great. He is up to every 10 weeks now on his visits to St. Jude where the doctors check his eye socket and check his other eye for any tumors. They also discovered that Kaden’s diagnosis is not genetic which is the best case scenario. This positive revelation means it is less likely that he will pass this on to his children and less likely for it to develop in his other eye.

Kaden has a prosthetic eye and is seeing a visual therapist, but he’s always smiling and trying to keep up with his siblings. Kristie shares, “I would have my bad days, but how can I even complain when he has been through so much already in his little life? He has definitely been my strength through this.”

Only 300 children are diagnosed each year with retinoblastoma, and usually it is not caught until they are of toddler age. Because of this, Kristie encourages parents to “know the glow.” The glow is the biggest symptom of retinoblastoma. “If you know the glow, get it checked. In photos, we sometimes get red eyes in the photo after the photo has been taken. For those with retinoblastoma, their eyes are white.”

Kristie also tells parents to keep the faith and stay positive because babies are resilient. She shares, “He’s going to live a normal life. He’ll be able to drive. It’s amazing how far he has come. This definitely hasn’t stopped him yet.” ■

Reviews

1 Review
Julie
Pierre Part, LA
Kaden is a Tough 'Lil Boy.

Kaden has two strong parents that love him very much. God is on his side.

August 2017

Did you find this review helpful?

0

01 Aug 2017


By Amanda Miller

Recent Articles more articles

Savannah, Georgia

in Get Out of Town

Get Out of Town.

Baton Rouge Children's Advocacy Center

in Local Profile

“Recently, a child was acting up in school, was suspended, and went from being an A student to a C student. The family thought they just had a child acting out. An interested person, knowing there’s often another layer, started asking questions, and

New School Year, New You In Christ

in Faith

Let’s face it, the beginning of the school year can be a stressful time. There are new routines, places to see, people to meet, and skills to learn! And, it’s not just the children who are anxious. Parents are, too. So, with the new school year upon

Kicks or Keys

in School

Children’s interests and activities are as diverse as the children themselves. Just as the right activity can build a child’s self-esteem and provide hours of enjoyment, the wrong one can do just the opposite. So, how do you find the right sport, clu

Featured Listings more listings

Our Lady of Mercy School

in Private Schools

Our Lady of Mercy Catholic School provides foundations for a life of prayer, knowledge, and service.

Bee Me Center

Bee Me Center

in Child Care Centers

Bee Me, a Merakey Child Development Center, is located at the new Merakey campus and accepts children of all abilities, including those working hard to achieve different developmental milestones. We provide an award winning curriculum to help our lit

Runnels School

in Private Schools

Runnels provides quality instruction in small class settings, allowing students to receive individual attention. The academic program encourages intellectual growth, curiosity, and the expression of ideas. The curriculum is college preparatory.

Gracie United South BR

in Martial Arts

The newest Brazilian Jiu Jitsu School in South Baton Rouge. Gracie United offers Brazilian Jiu Jitsu to adults and children. We also hold Women's Self Defense classes and a Bully Proof Summer Camp.

Advertisement
Newsletter