Thursday, May 1, 2014

Smiling Eyes

On May 16 we will finally meet with the ocularist (eye maker). I am very excited to see Ania with an eye again. She has had a little harder time accepting the idea. She has said she just likes wearing her pretty patches and doesn't want a new eye. However, I can also tell she is getting sick of people asking her what happened to her eye. If other kids ask her, she handles it well and just tells them it's because her eye is broken. Little kids move on quickly thankfully. When adults ask her, she just kind if shrinks and looks sad and does not answer. It's as if she's embarrassed or afraid to answer. It breaks my heart. 

The last few days I've been telling her that people will stop asking her "what happened to your eye" once she has that prosthetic. She's beginning to warm up to the idea. In fact, the other day she came to me and said, " Mommy, your eye is not broken." I said, "yes you are right. My eye is not broken."
She then said in a very matter of fact way, "Mine is. I'm going to get a new one. I'm excited!!"
It was a breakthrough! To hear excitement from her about it made my day! 

Yesterday, we had the fantastic opportunity to meet a fellow retinoblastoma survivor. Over 20 years ago,a  girl named Hannah was diagnosed and subsequently lost her eye as well. Hannah is now a very sweet young lady who reached out to me back in March after Ania's story aired on NBC with the hopes of meeting Ania. That meeting finally became a reality and it couldn't have gone any better. Hannah arrived and we sat around the table and chatted about her cancer story. Ania just watched her and was a little shy at first but she warmed up to her quickly. 

Hanging with Hannah :)

Hannah then brought out 7 little boxes. Inside those boxes was the history of her "eyes." She took each of the beautiful works of art out and just let us look at them. Ania was a little afraid to handle them at first but slowly she became more comfortable. 

While Hannah and I were talking, something sort of magical started to happen-

Always the creative girl, Ania started arranging the eyes into a smily face! That just made my heart jump for joy because that showed me that she really was ok with all of this. I know when we show up to meet the ocularist, it will be a little less scary for her because it will be familiar- and I'm sure they will have lots of eyes for Ania to arrange into artwork :) 

Thank you to dear Hannah for making Ania more comfortable with what's to come. You really did a huge favor for us and made quite an impression on Ania! 

God Bless,



  1. Such an absolutely remarkable little lady with a Great smile! The world is truly blessed that such a positive little spirit is here for us to share with!

  2. This just warms my heart :) her smile is so contagious!

  3. I am so glad that my daughter was able to help you and your daughter. Hannah is very special and in moments like this, being able to help someone else is magical. Hannah had wanted to meet Ania ever since your story was aired on tv. Being able to meet Ania was very special and important for Hannah. When she was Ania's age all she wanted was to relate with someone else who had survived this cancer; to know it could end up okay. We hope that Ania and your family will know that same feeling. Ania is adorable and we wish your entire family nothing but happiness and joy.

  4. I think Ania looks super cute with eye patch but I understand that those questions can be annoying:-( so I am happy that Ania is excited about the artificial eye:-*<3