Pictures of Purpose

Peace of mind is worth a lot to a mom. Well, it’s at least worth the $20 co-pay to your child’s pediatrician when you are worried about something. Call me a hypochondriac, but I’m one of those people who’d rather worry and be safe, than shrug it off and be sorry.

So this weekend, when a photo of my sweet baby came up with a “red eye” reflex that was actually white, I immediately became concerned. Of course, this happened when 30 people were at my house. These kinds of things only happen at inconvenient moments. To my surprise, no one at the party had ever heard about the “white eye” in a photo being a possible warning sign of several rare, but serious diseases. In particular, it’s a sign of the third most common cancer affecting children, Retinoblastoma. When I realized so few parents knew to be on watch for this, I knew I needed to share my information.

Though Retinoblastoma is still very rare —affecting only 1 in every 12,000 children — I still felt compelled to get it checked out. The trouble of a trip to the doctor’s office so I can sleep at night is worth it to me. And since Retinoblastoma is something that isn’t always looked for during a well visit, I thought it was worth the extra examination. Once my pediatrician reassured me that my little man was cleared of any concerns, she surprisingly mentioned that I was a well-informed mom to even know to look out for Retinoblastoma. Most likely if you see it in a photo, it’s just a matter of flash angle and a camera issue. Unless your pediatrician does a check in a darkened room, it can go unnoticed.

I do admit to being a bit of a knowledge seeker, especially with Google being at my fingertips. But I also have realized that over the years, ignorance is not bliss when it comes to your child’s health. I don’t recall when I originally stumbled on the information about the photo clues and Retinoblastoma, but I encourage everyone to research it so they know the facts as well.

I believe everything happens for a reason, and I hope reading this doesn’t cause any unnecessary worry. There’s a fine line between over worrying and being careful when it comes to health issues. I’m hopeful that my extra trip to the doctor and by sharing this information, I can raise awareness for a rather unknown, but treatable disease.

Visit to get the lowdown on the disease, as well as read the story of one family who is trying to raise awareness after losing their adored son to Retinoblastoma.

About Heidi Morris

Rochester Hills mom of three. Loves life, loves family, loves to share new and interesting things with everyone. Contact her today at

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