Triplets with rare eye cancer spend Mother’s Day at home
Watch above: Su-Ling Goh has an update on the Low triplets
EDMONTON – Three young brothers who have a rare eye cancer are back at home in Alberta, after spending the better part of the past two months in Toronto undergoing treatment.
Thomas, Mason and Luke Low have retinoblastoma, an eye cancer that is most common in young children. The identical triplets have spent much of the first five months of their lives at Toronto’s Sick Kids Hospital.
“Mason and Thomas are receiving treatment once a month. And Luke is receiving, at the moment, every two weeks. So we’re back and forth all the time,” said the boys’ mother, Leslie Low.
“If you add them all up we’re at… 16 surgeries in the last two months. So it’s a lot.”
Leslie and her husband, Richard Low, have had to make some tough decisions over the past few months, as well.
“Thomas’s right eye – the tumour there was too large to treat locally and so the option was to either remove the eye or do systemic chemotherapy,” Richard explained.
Thomas had already lost vision in the eye, so Richard and his wife thought the chemotherapy wouldn’t be worth the high risks that came along with it.
“Emotionally speaking, it was a very difficult decision. But practically speaking, it was a no-brainer to actually remove the eye,” said Richard.
“Since then he’s done really, really well and he’s our happiest, I think, because he’s had the least amount of treatments,” added Leslie.
Then the Lows went through a very similar decision-making process with Mason, who had his left eye removed last Thursday.
“He’s done really, really well and we feel good about our decision and feel like it’s the best for him,” said Leslie.
Both boys now have prosthetic eyes. And while Thomas and Mason’s peripheral and depth perception will be impacted, they should still be able to do most things.
Their brother Luke has undergone six laser surgeries, but still has both of his eyes at the moment.
“We’re kind of waiting on that, seeing how that eye does,” Richard explained. “We may have to face that decision with Luke in the future. But we’re hoping that the eye will heal up.”
Luke will be heading back to Toronto without his brothers next week to continue his treatment.
Richard and Leslie says they’ve received an incredible amount of support over the past few months, as it’s not just the triplets they have to look after. The couple also has a two-year-old son.
“People will come over almost daily to help feed, settle the babies at night, get them down to bed. And then we have a lot of family support,” said Richard.
“It’s really humbling to us. It’s just really neat that there’s so many people out there who care about people they don’t know,” said Leslie.
And while the past five months have been difficult and tiring, they say every trip out east has been worth it.
“We know these boys are very, very special and so I think they’ll do great things in their life,” said Leslie.
For more information on the Low family’s journey, visit their website.
With files from Su-Ling Goh, Global News.
© Shaw Media, 2014