CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Why do 3-and-a-half-month-olds get cancer?
For all those who say these daily stories are too hard to read… Logan Eckman from Rock Hill wants you to really try to get through this one. She would like you to know her baby girl, Victoria.
"I'd like people to know the truth of what some kids live with for no apparent reason," she said. "My daughter has cancer in her eye."
Victoria has retinoblastoma. It was discovered by accident.
In late July, Victoria was dropped out of her car seat while on vacation in California. Logan said she landed on her head. Her family immediately rushed her to the hospital. Emergency x-rays and a CT-scan showed NO injuries on her brain or skull… but did find a mysterious mass in her left eye.
Doctors say the mass was irrelevant to the fall.
An MRI was next. An oncologist diagnosed it as retinoblastoma.
They transferred her closer to home, to the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston for treatment.
"But it took four weeks to see a doctor because of insurance problems," Logan said. "Tori has BlueChoice Medicaid [a state-run service] which they do not accept, though the state is currently processing a change to get it switched. Because of our out-of-network circumstances, we weren't able to get her in until weeks after California doctors first called."
One month ago to the day – August 24th – an ophthalmology oncologist at MUSC confirmed Tori had three tumors in her left eye and two tumors in the right. The left eye tumors had already caused retina detachment.
Days later, baby Tori started chemo at Palmetto Children's Hospital in Columbia.
"Our recent progress check was positive," Logan said. "The chemo had already killed the tumors in her right eye and shrunk the largest one in her left."
The bad news, Logan said, is that doctors are concerned the cancer cells might spread to her brain.
"You'd never think you'd be grateful for a fall out of a car seat," Logan said. "But if it wasn't for that fall, she'd already be blind in both eyes instead of just one. Insurance problems caused a delay, but thankfully we have doctors now trying to save her eyes, her life and preventing potential brain cancer."
Logan says they're still waiting for the state to approve the switch of insurance. If they get it worked out, she says the new insurance will allow for laser surgery and precise chemo straight onto the eye tumors.
"Of course there's also the chance the state could deny our insurance change as well," she said. "But we're trying to have faith."
You can follow Tori's story at Pray for Tori >> http://facebook.com/prayfortori.
Imagine the patience you must dig deep to find when insurance issues stop you for treating your infant daughter for cancer. I can't imagine.
"It is incredibly difficult," Logan says. "There are some really tough days."
"30 Kids. 30 Stories. 30 Days." All ages. All types of kids. All cancers.
Tell the truth – did you even know a child this young could have eye cancer?
Share Tori's story. Spread the word. Donate. Volunteer. Give a little of your own heart and stand with these innocent kids. Help create ACTION.
PS – see you at The Isabella Santos Foundation 5k tomorrow. Come visit the #MollysKids tent! www.isabellasantosfoundation.org.