Thomas’ Gift: Four Years Later

Retinoblastoma: A rare form of childhood eye cancer often diagnosed between the ages of 2 and 5. Sadly, most of the children diagnosed with this condition end up losing their entire eye to treat the condition.

Can you imagine your sweet little one losing their eye to cancer at such a young age?

Thankfully, there are researchers who are trying to find a cure and better treatment options for this horrible form of cancer. But, they can’t do their research without proper tissue samples from donors.

That’s where a special little boy named Thomas was able to make a lasting impact. Thomas was diagnosed in utero with anencephaly. His mother, Sarah, made the choice to carry him to term and after he passed away she made the selfless decision to donate his eyes, specifically corneas and retinas, to research. Just last week Sarah learned a little more about how Thomas’ tiny gifts have made a mighty impact.

On Friday, Sarah wrote: “I just spoke with the researcher who received Thomas’s retinas. In the 6 years she has been researching retinoblastoma, she has only received ONE suitable healthy tissue sample, and it was Thomas’. The tissue is so precious that she saved some from 4 years ago and she still has it to use on future research.”

WAY TO GO THOMAS!!! Without this precious gift research efforts would have been stalled and so would the hope for children with this devastating form of cancer.

I am often asked if donation to research is “worth it”… I think it is safe to say if you asked the researcher, or the parents of children with retinoblastoma, or Thomas’ mother you would hear a resounding YES!!! Research donation is VERY MUCH WORTH IT!!!

Special thanks to Sarah for allowing us share this “proud momma” with others. You can read more about Thomas’ story here.


*Note, it was recently brought to my attention that retinoblastoma can also be a deadly form of cancer, and does not just affect the eyes. This means that research is just that much more important and Thoma’s gift was truly a life saving donation!!!


Thomas’ Gift: Four Years Later — 1 Comment

  1. I donated my angel for anencephaly research. I’m torn everyday on if I made the right decision and then I think of the pain I went through and the pain so many other mothers have gone through and remember why I did it. I never wanted anyone else to feel the pain I had endured and still endure. I wanted something positive to come from something devastating. I hope it did, this story definitely gives me hope that what I did was the right thing.