Cancer Center

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Pediatric Bilateral Retinoblastoma: Kyle's Story 

Picture of Kyle
Photo: Kyle

Diagnosed with pediatric bilateral retinoblastoma, this 2-year-old underwent a unique chemotherapy regimen to save his vision and his life.

At first glance, Kyle seems like an ordinary 5-year-old. He likes playing video games with his dad and scooting Matchbox cars around the family's suburban Philadelphia home. He teases his two older sisters.

But, in other ways, Kyle is truly remarkable. In fact, he is what you might call a golf prodigy. While most kids his age are just learning how to spell, Kyle has already learned to swing like a golf pro. And, even more incredibly, he taught himself to play the game at age 2, just by watching golf on television.

Still, the most astounding part of Kyle’s story may be this — Kyle is a cancer survivor. In July of 2004, when he was barely 2 years old, Kyle was diagnosed with pediatric bilateral retinoblastoma cancer in both eyes. The cancer in Kyle’s left eye had progressed so far that doctors had to remove the eye almost immediately to save his life.

There was only one chance left to preserve Kyle’s sight, and that chance resided with the Cancer Center at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. Children’s Hospital developed the unique, highly effective chemotherapy regimen that could save the vision in Kyle’s right eye and help save his life. What’s more, only Children’s Hospital had the knowledge and experience to carry out these procedures with confidence.

For six months, Kyle visited Children’s Hospital for chemotherapy treatments to destroy the four tumors in his right eye. But Kyle didn’t even seem to notice his frightening predicament. 

He brought us through it, Kyle's mom Regina remembers. He didn’t realize that what he was going through was supposed to make him sick. He was still running around like any 2-year-old, hitting his plastic golf ball with his plastic club, just being Kyle.

For nearly three years now, little Kyle has been blissfully cancer-free. His family couldn't be happier, and Kyle's prognosis couldn't look rosier.

Incidentally, neither could his golf game.

Learn more about our pediatric cancer treatment programs.

Read more pediatric cancer patient stories from The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

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