Nine-month-old Amanda was diagnosed with stage 4b unilateral retinoblastoma. Retinoblastoma is a rare, cancerous tumor of a part of the eye called the retina. Ten years later, Mandi is a very active honor roll student, has modeled and done commercials, and is regaining minimal vision in her affected eye.
“Ten years ago this month, we were hit with news no parent should ever have to hear— our nine month old daughter Amanda had cancer. Mandi was diagnosed with stage 4b unilateral retinoblastoma. Retinoblastoma is a rare, cancerous tumor of a part of the eye called the retina. From the first moment we met Dr. Khatib
, we were comforted by his kindness, compassion and especially his knowledge of this disease. We chose to go with the chemotherapy and started treatment the following Monday. As it turned out, Mandi's chemo cycles seemed to hit close to every holiday remaining in the year, and those holidays that were not spent receiving chemo seemed to still be spent in 3 North (hematology/oncology and immunology unit) due to fevers and/or low blood counts. Spending every one of these holidays in the hospital and some in isolation showed us just how truly amazing the nurses, staff and child life specialists were. Finally on Christmas Eve, 2000 we were told Mandi had finished her final dose of chemotherapy and we could go home for Christmas! Ten years later, Mandi is a very active honor roll student, has modeled and done commercials and is regaining minimal vision in her affected eye. We owe so much gratitude to Dr. Khatib and the staff of Nicklaus Children's Hospital for never giving up on her treatment for the "easy solution of enucleation". There are enough wonderful stories to tell of our experiences at Nicklaus Children's Hospital to fill a book! Ironically we are now in the midst of another success story with a whole new department. Mandi was diagnosed with scoliosis and we are so blessed to have her treated by Dr. Shufflebarger. She is now in her third month of wearing the brace and her curve has already reduced by five degrees! Thank you Nicklaus Children's Hospital, you truly are "Here for the Children"!”
Diane - Lehign Acres, Florida