January 29, 2016 5:05 pm
Updated: January 29, 2016 5:12 pm

WATCH: How a photo helped a mom discover cancer in son’s eye

Camera flash reveals cancer in Arizona boy's eye. KPNX's Vanessa Ruiz reports.


Doting parents can’t stop taking photos of their newborn babies. But in Andrea Temarantz’ case, she noticed a white glow in one of her son’s eyes turned up in each snapshot.

“It looks almost like a flashlight in his eye. A tiny flashlight,” the Arizona mom told local reporters.

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She blamed it on bad camera phone quality but when Temarantz and her husband invested in a nicer camera, the glow appeared again. That’s when she knew something wasn’t right.

“150 [pictures] a day. Out of 145, his eye was glowing,” she explained.

Temarantz’ son, Ryder, has Down Syndrome – cataracts are common in children living with the condition, so the family thought the diagnosis would be simple.

READ MORE: How one photograph helped this mom save her son’s life

At the baby’s four-month checkup, the pediatrician referred the parents to a cancer specialist. Turns out, Ryder had Retinoblastoma. What the photos captured was the camera’s flash reflecting off of the tumour in his eye.

The family kicked into treatment right away, heading to specialists in New York City. Through an artery in his groin and up to his eye, doctors shot chemo into the affected area.

Ryder needs two more treatments and doctors say he has vision in his eye, but what the tumour took is permanent.

READ MORE: Identical triplets receive chemo in fight against rare eye cancer

The Temarantz family is happy they paid close attention to the photos. If they waited, the cancer could have spread to his brain.

“Take a lot of pictures of your kids and leave the flash on,” Temarantz said. “If you see it [glow] once, take more.”


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