Jasmine Martin noticed how her daughter Sariyah had a “small glow” in her right eye and quickly posted it to social media for advice. And thanks to the internet, many strangers commented on how the toddler’s eye may have cancer.
The mother first noticed a glow in her eye when it began to enlarge and look like a white hole.
“I just had a feeling she needed to be seen. Her dr got her in and said it was nothing serious. She said they’d just done an eye exam at her well check, but they did another one. She said her red reflexes were good, and googled stuff on cloudy eyes. I still wasn’t reassured, call it a mother’s intuition I suppose. But she referred her to an ophthalmologist. However, she let me know it would take weeks if not longer.”
“The next part of the story is nothing short of a God story. A doctor/friend from work saw the photo I posted and messaged me. She reached out to an eye doctor and she wanted to see her immediately Monday(today). All weekend it felt like I was just holding my breath.”
“She has a tumor in her eye, and there’s a lot of seeds in the back. It was like I was sitting outside of my body in that moment. The rest was a blur, and friends from work walked over and played with riyah while I talked with the doctor. St.Judes wants us there today, so we can meet with a doctor that specializes with retinoblastoma in the morning. She said I need to plan to stay for a week.”
The mother went onto reveal that despite being shaken up, she was determined to spread the word.
“I’m scared, confused, angry heartbroken and everything else. I’m upset her pediatrician said it was all fine, but now I know they just don’t see it that often. When this is over I’ll do my best to make sure there’s more awareness and education, so that all parents will be taken seriously should they ever notice it in their child’s eyes.”
“Out of 14yrs of working in the hospital I’m always the one making appointments. I’ve seen parents completely undone as doctors have delivered heartbreaking news. But today it’s appointments being made for my own child, it’s me coming completely undone.”
“We are on the way to St.Judes & have childcare set up for now. Unfortunately Jeff will still have to travel back and forth, but he’s staying with us as much as he can. We have no clue what to expect until the mri, so please just pray for her. Sariyah Rose is a fighter.”
Martin wants to share her daughter’s medical journey now in hopes of raising awareness about her rare form of eye cancer and informing other parents about its warning signs.
With a background in the creative and educational fields, Amelia Finefrock is freelance writer, singer-songwriter and nanny based in Chicago.