Kalli McAllister, 33, was diagnosed with retinoblastoma as a child and sadly lost an eye as a result. Retinoblastoma can be hereditary and non-hereditary, so it's really important people are aware of the signs and symptoms. Kalli's own diagnosis made her extra vigilant with her daughter Autumn and at 10 months old during a regular eye check it was discovered that Autumn too had eye cancer. Autumn is now undergoing treatment.
As well as helping to raise awareness, the McAllister’s have decided to donate samples of Autumn’s blood to a Fight for Sight funded research project. Kalli says: “we’ve got to help further doctors’ understanding and open more doors, so that no one has to lose their sight in future.” Thanks to new pioneering research funded by Fight for Sight, the prognosis for children like Autumn could be transformed.
Professor Majlinda Lako and her team at the University of Newcastle are creating a laboratory model of retinoblastoma using stem cell technology. The model will be developed from stem cells taken from blood samples and will enable researchers to gain information about which retinal cells are affected by the condition and how tumours progress.
If their work is successful, it will deepen our understanding of retinoblastoma, such as understanding early genetic changes and how tumours form. This could open the door to a range of new potential treatments and make existing ones more effective, for example, by helping to target chemotherapy so that more cells are reached.
Ultimately this research could keep children from losing their sight to eye cancer, and bring us closer to our goal of stopping retinoblastoma in its tracks.
We can only continue to fund innovative research projects like this with your generous and committed support.
Please visit http://www.fightforsight.or...
... to find out more.