One-year-old Jaxson Scrivens was diagnosed with retinoblastoma after his dad Owen noticed something strange in the photo
Childhood cancer is every parent's worst nightmare.
Thankfully, it is not very common, with childhood cancer making up 0.5% of all cancers in the UK, according to Children With Cancer UK.
But for those families who are devastatingly struck by childhood cancer, it can feel like the end of the world.
And that's what Owen Scrivens and Emily Smith are currently going through.
Baby Jaxson and his parents, Owen and Emily (Credit: Facebook/ Emily Smith)
After taking a photo of his son with the flash on, medicine student Owen noticed a white glow in one of baby Jaxson's eyes, instead of the normal red.
Speaking to Metro.co.uk, Owen, also a part-time carer, said: "I looked through some old photos and you actually can see the point where it changes in late November.
"There’d been nothing else wrong, although after we noticed the eye colour he started to develop a bit of a squint."
The photo of Jaxson that alerted Owen to a potential problem (Credit: Facebook/ Emily Smith)
Owen and Emily, both 20, took Jaxson to their local GP, who said they'd "never seen anything like it" in their 17-year career.
The family were given a referral to Great Ormond Street Children's Hospital, and his cancer was then discovered by an eye specialist at the Royal London Hospital.
There's a distressing concern that Jaxson could lose his eye, but the tumour has already shrunk to a third of its original size after he began his first round of treatment on December 30 last year.
The tumour has already shrunk to a third of its original size (Credit: Go Fund Me/ Emily Smith)
Devastatingly, the tumour in Jaxson's eye will never disappear and he will need to be monitored for the rest of his life, but doctors are confident that they can shrink it to a "small benign mass" and save the little boy's eye.
Owen said: "His sight is alright – they can’t do a proper eye test but from what they’ve found, he’s missing a bit of tunnel vision.
"It’s going insanely well and we’re so proud of him."
The adorable family (Credit: Facebook/ Emily Smith)
The couple have now set up a Go Fund Me account to raise money for the Sussex Snowdrop Trust and the Piam Brown oncology ward at Southampton Hospital, who have been a great support to the family.
Writing from the point of view of her son, Emily posted on the Go Fund Me site: "Just like that, one day I’m happy, playing and the next, I could possibly have eye cancer, they couldn't complete the examination as they didn't have an ultrasound available on this day, so I was urgently referred to Great Ormond Street."
Jaxson is a happy and brave baby boy (Credit: Facebook/ Emily Smith)
"My parents didn’t know what to think. My mum has been crying every day, and dad is very sad as well but tries to hide it because my mum is sad.
"The doctor had faith that, with chemotherapy, I could beat this. Although I will never see tunnel vision in this eye, I can still see peripheral."
Jaxson at hospital (Credit: Facebook/ Emily Smith)
"CHEMO!!!! I'm only a year old; but the doctor says this is the only way to try and save my eye. Well, I guess I’ll have to put my strong cap on and get well for myself and my mum and dad
"Chemotherapy has made me lose my hair, made me sick, tired, weak and everything I eat tastes like metal although now I have a lot of meds to try and control the sickness. The side effects make me a very grizzly boy."
Jaxson enduring chemotherapy (Credit: Go Fund Me/ Emily Smith)
"I am surrounded by the most amazing support from all the people I have met. Please, don't let my parents and family get overwhelmed with this and help them fight my battle against cancer."
The family before Jaxson's diagnosis (Credit: Facebook/ Emily Smith)
You can visit Jaxson's Go Fund Me page here.
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