Jasmine Martin lives in Knoxville, Tennessee. Her daughter is Sariyah. Jasmine took notice of a small glow in Sariyah’s eye. The abnormality was small and only visible at certain angles but as it grew, it worried her mom. When she posted a picture on Facebook, worrying comments led her to make an appointment right away. When the doctor confirmed this diagnosis and began treatment right away, she was thankful for the Facebook commentators that led her in the right direction.
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When Jasmine's daughter's eyes looked strange one day, she posted a photo to her Facebook to ask for advice. Prior to that day, she told Good Morning America there had been "a small glow" in her daughter Sariyah's eye. "But that day, it was like a moon."
When several commenters told her it could be cancerous, she naturally worried. On pins and needles, she waited for an appointment with an ophthalmologist.
“I just had a feeling she” [Sariyah] “needed to be seen,” Jasmine said, “Her doctor got her in and said it was nothing serious. … She said her red reflexes were good, and Googled stuff on cloudy eyes.”
However, Jasmine didn't feel like everything was right with her daughter. “I still wasn’t reassured, call it a mother’s intuition I suppose."
Jasmine knew it was going to take weeks to get another ophthalmologist appointment, so she emailed the photo to a friend who worked at a hospital, who in turn showed it to a doctor. Her daughter was called into St. Jude's hospital that very night, reports Good Morning America.
Once there, Jasmine's fears were confirmed: her daughter was diagnosed with bilateral retinoblastoma. Fortunately, St. Jude’s Hospital for Children was ready to start treating Sariyah immediately.
Tests on Sariyah thankfully determined that she still retained the ability to see in the diseased eye. The family prepared Sariyah for chemo and Jasmine explained the process on Instagram:
“She will get one dose of chemo in her whole body just to make sure nothing has gotten into her body. The rest of the treatment will be injected near her right eye. It’s classified into groups ranging from A to E being the worst. Her right eye is group D, and her left is an A. “Her left eye will be treated w/ one laser treatment. For the right eye, she’ll get 5 days worth of chemo for 5 months and then it goes down to 1 month for 6 months. In the midst of that, we will be getting weekly blood work and testing.”
While Sariyah has been in treatment for some time now, there have been both ups and downs with the chemotherapy process. While the tumor in her right eye is shrinking, her left eye that has already been treated is showing signs of cancer returning again.
During this difficult time, Jasmine has been supported by her family, friends, and neighbors, for whom she has much gratitude.
Jasmine never forgets that if not for her observation and the concerns of Facebook posters, the tumor might have spread. Her daughter could be blind in both eyes, or worse. At this time the process is ongoing. “It’s a never-ending battle of what-ifs,” Jasmine reports.
What do you think about this story? If you are interested in Jasmine's updates, you can follow her journey on their Instagram page. Be sure to pass this on to others so they can help, too!