Imagine waking up one day and noticing that something isn’t right with your child; this is exactly what happened to Chantal Delarge. One morning while watching television with her daughter, Dallis, she noticed that her child’s left eye seemed to be turning out instead of looking straight ahead.
Chantal took her daughter to Dr. Jared Long, who completed a comprehensive eye exam and discovered a total of 11 tumors between both of Dallis’ eyes.
Dallis Delarge was nearly two years old when she was diagnosed with a rare form of eye cancer called Retinoblastoma (RB); cancer that grows in children’s retinas affecting approximately 23 Canadian children each year between birth and fives years old.
Looking back at family photos of Dallis, Chantal can see white light shining off from her daughter’s eyes. She realizes now that the cause of this white light was the flash reflecting off the tumor inside her daughter’s eyes. This, as well as swelling, redness, and a lazy eye appearance, can be symptoms of Retinoblastoma.
Soon after the diagnosis, Dallis began intensive chemotherapy treatment sessions. If Dallis had undergone an eye exam at the recommended age of 6-9 months, the diagnosis could have been caught earlier on, and treatment may have been more effective.
Dallis is now three years old and her parents are passionate about educating other parents on the importance of infant eye exams. To learn more about Retinoblastoma and other eye conditions affecting children, make sure to book regular appointments with a local doctor of optometry.
For Children’s Vision Month in October, we encourage you to share your knowledge and advice with other parents when it comes to your child’s health, and we will donate $1.00 per story to First Book Canada – a charity dedicated to providing new books to Canadian children in need. Enter here.