‘Our hero’ - Steve and Lucy Crosbie hope their daughter’s cancer battle can help others
- Credit: Sonya Duncan
It was a chance moment that little Lavinia Crosbie's parents noticed a white reflection in their daughter's eye when she was sat near a lamp.
And Lucy and Steve, from Thetford, are counting their lucky stars for picking up on a sign which caused them to search the internet and discover their then eight-and-a-half month old daughter may have a rare eye cancer.
Lavinia is now a happy and cheeky little girl but her smile hides the story of five months of her young life fighting retinoblastoma after the cancer diagnosis in November.
Her tumour was graded as an D - E being the worst - and she spent weeks in hospital where she became quite ill.
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Mrs Crosbie said: 'She was really poorly between the third and fourth lot of chemotherapy when she got a line infection and developed sepsis. She had emergency surgery to remove the line.'
It was during her time in isolation Mr Crosbie said was the hardest because she went from a 'cheeky' baby to going 'weeks without smiling'.
The 34-year-old said: 'She looked like she had given up. When you looked in her eyes it looked like she had no fight left. She was so poorly.'
But the youngster, who her parents call 'our hero' fought back and finished her last round of chemotherapy at the end of March.
She is not yet cancer free and will visit the hospital on May 10 to check whether there has been anymore activity with the tumour - if it is a small change it is hoped it can be fixed by laser treatment if it is a larger relapse it may result in having her eye removed.
Doctors believe she has little to no vision in her left eye but Mrs Crosbie has said Lavinia is 'not letting anything stop her'.
'She is walking and talking and cheeky, and is doing everything a normal baby does.'
The family hope to awareness of the condition when Mrs Crosbie and Lavinia take on the Race for Life - along with a team of her Tesco work colleagues - in Bury St Edmunds on June 11.
'The worst bit is she was so healthy,' said the 27-year-old. 'She was a completely happy and healthy baby. Any child can get it. I think the biggest thing is people saying 'it won't happen to us'. We thought the same thing but it can happen to anyone.
'I really struggled emotionally with it all. But it has brought us all closer together and it really makes you evaluate your life.'
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What is retinoblastoma?
It is a type of eye cancer that affects young children, mainly under the age of six.
It develops in the cells of the retina, the light sensitive lining of the eye, and can affect one or both eyes.
Around 50-60 cases are diagnosed in the UK every year.
There are six signs to look out for.
A white reflection in the pupil - which was what Lavinia's parents saw.
A squint, where one eye looks in or out.
A change in the colour of the iris.
A red, sore or swollen eye without infection.
An absence of red eye in one pupil.
Or a deterioration in the child's sight.
Early diagnosis is important. Parents are advised to see their GP if they believe the symptoms to be eye cancer.
For more information visit the Childhood Eye Cancer Trust (CHECT)