MOORESVILLE, NC (WBTV) - Three-year-old Oliver Prinino is all smiles when he flies from Charlotte to New York City every week.
Oliver lives with his parents and two brothers in Mooresville, but once a week hops a flight with his mom to receive treatment for eye cancer.
His mom, Mallorie, said a friend told her to reach out. She wrote the kindest email. It began with, "I don't know if you've ever heard of retinoblastoma, but it's a pediatric cancer that affects the eye."
Sadly, Mallorie, we know of retinoblastoma.
We know because at least two other children in our area -- both ?#?MollysKids -- have the same diagnosis. I'll put links to their stories at the bottom of this post.
Like Brooke and Aayla -- the other two -- doctors said removing Oliver's eye was the only answer.
Instead, Mallorie went a different route. She found a doctor in NYC that injects chemotherapy drugs directly into her son's eye. It's a new technique.
After eight injections, Mallorie is hopeful.
"At this point, the possibility of a cancer-free life looks very promising for Oliver."
That's the great news. The reality is the treatment needs time to work and currently Oliver has no vision in his left eye. But Mallorie said this can be fixed once he's done with the chemo.
Why did she reach out? Why does she want us to know her son?
Same reason Brooke and Aayla's parents originally emailed.
They say retinoblastoma is easy to spot. You can actually see the cancer. If your child's eye is milky... or maybe in a picture you see it have a distinct glow... ask a doctor.
If Mallorie had known what to look for, she says Oliver's treatments could have started sooner.
"Awareness," she emphasized. "It's important."
Read more on Oliver here >> https://www.facebook.com/updates4oliver
Past posts to other two kids in our area (at least the two I know) with retinoblastoma:
- Brooke Cominsky is a CMPD officer's daughter. Posted about her twice this year, most recently here >> http://tinyurl.com/otbcva9
- Aayla Gonyar has been fighting since birth almost two years ago. I've written about her three times, most recently here >> http://tinyurl.com/olo3xao