Tony’s tumor was found on Nov 26, 2005 after we took him to Riverview Medical Center ER because he had a sudden onset of pain in his right eye and his eye was bulging outward. After a CT scan found the 1 inch mass on his optic nerve we were sent the following day to UMDNJ for an MRI. Since we were up visiting from NC we were referred to UNC-Chapel Hill for further care.
Aspires to be a brain surgeon!
The doctors tried high doses of Prednisone in an attempt to shrink the mass, but it continued to grow. A biopsy in March 2006 confirmed it was a JPA and he was taken off the steroid. On June 20, 2006 the tumor was completely removed as was the optic nerve and a facial nerve. He is now completely blind in his right eye. Tony has since had his tear ducts cauterized and plugged in order to increase the surface moisture of that eye to prevent infection. He receives artificial tear ointment on an hourly basis at school and at home he sleeps with special goggles and a humidifier. When people ask why his eye looks different (the lid is droopy) and he’s the first one to tell them what he had.
Although Tony has missed a lot of school for his surgeries and appointments he managed to skip the second grade and is now in third grade. He loves running and is starting soccer next month.
His goal in life is to become a brain surgeon so he can help others.
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(Tony’s Mom, Jenniene)