When Owen and Emily Scrivens took a picture of their 1-year-old song, Jaxson, what they saw signaled an internal alarm.
Using the camera on his cellphone, Owen had taken a photo of Jaxson using the flash. When he looked at the picture, he noticed that one of Jaxson's eyes had red-eye, while the other seemed to be glowing.
The parents decided to do some research online and found out that camera flashes have been known to detect potential retinoblastoma, a cancerous tumor in the retina that affects children. The flash highlights a tumor that isn't noticeable otherwise.
“I looked through some old photos and you actually can see the point where it changes in late November,” Owen said in an interview. "There’d been nothing else wrong, although after we noticed the eye color he started to develop a bit of a squint.”
When they took Jaxson to an ophthalmologist, the Scrivens were referred to specialists at Royal London Hospital where their worst nightmare was confirmed. Jaxson had cancer.
Jaxson is now going through chemotherapy, losing all his hair and making him a very "grizzly boy." The tumor has shrunk by 33%, but he still has to go through treatment every three weeks.
“What’s really shocked us from talking to people is them saying ‘my niece or nephew had a white glow in their eye but we didn’t think anything of it. It’s something so simple to spot, it doesn’t come up in every photo and not everyone will be able to spot it but a lot of people will,” Owen said. “Some children at the hospital had both their eyes removed, which is horrible, and we want people to catch it early.”
There is a GoFundMe page to help the family pay for medical costs.