Cancer Survivor - Surgery required!

Hello from Deb & Tim..

We are raising money to ensure our son, Aiden, has a bright future ahead of him. This money will be used for future medical expenses, which will become very costly should bulk billing become non-existant after the upcoming election. It will also fund his future education, and any future surgery that he will have to endure as he reaches adulthood.

Our story - 

It was Christmas Eve 2008... Aiden had just celebrated his 3rd birthday two weeks prior.

Tim was reading the newspaper and came across an article on Retinoblastoma and how a young child had been diagnosed by having the "white eye reflection" picked up in photographs. He grabbed a recent photo of Aiden, and showed it to Deb. Sure enough, the white eye glow was clearly visible. 

We contacted our local optometrist in Hervey Bay QLD, who requested to see Aiden that day. After examining him, he referred us to the local eye specialist, who saw us later that afternoon. Retinal images were taken of his eye, and confirmed our fears - Aiden had a tumour growing in his left eye. Doctors in Brisbane were immediately contacted and 3 days later we were in Brisbane for further examinations, and Aiden was diagnosed with a form of childhood cancer, known as Retinoblastoma. It was then that we were informed that treatment needed to being straight away because, if left completely untreated, Aiden would not see the next Christmas.

Over the next 18 months, Aiden was treated by laser surgery to try and stop the tumour from growing. A radioactive plaque was also inserted to try and kill off the tumour. But these treatments were unsuccessful after several attempts.

In June  2010, the decision was made by us to surgically remove the eye in order to stop the chances of the tumour spreading throughout his body and therefore saving his life.

Aiden is now 10 years old. He still needs ongoing medical examinations to ensure his other eye is healthy, and has MRI (which are done at our expense as they are not covered by Medicare bulk-billing) and blood tests annually to rule out any secondary cancers throughout his body. These tests will be a lifelong event. He also needs a new prosthetic eye created, fitted and checked as he grows into adulthood.  

We will be eternally grateful to all who donate, as it will ensure that Aiden remains healthy and, should a secondary cancer ever be diagnosed in the future, treatment can commence immediately as money will be available to pay or it.

What is Retinoblastoma - 

Retinoblastoma is the most common eye tumor in children and the third most common cancer affecting children overall. It begins in the retina, a thin layer of nerve tissue that coats the back of the eye and enables the eye to see. Most often, retinoblastoma is unilateral, meaning it occurs only in one eye. However, it may be present in both eyes, called bilateral. If retinoblastoma spreads, it can spread to the lymph nodes, bones, bone marrow, central nervous system, brain and spinal cord.

If you notice a white eye reflection in a photograph (see an example of this in our photo) instead of the usual red eye reflection, please see your doctor or optometrist immediately.


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Debbie Kurikka
New South Wales

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