Battling Retinoblastoma

9 years 7 months 3 weeks ago April 08, 2007 Apr 8, 2007 Sunday, April 08 2007 Sunday, April 08, 2007 9:28:15 PM CDT in News

This week's Your Health with Angie Bailey takes a look at how a tough little boy and his family are coping with a rare form of cancer.

To a baby, the world is a big new place. Everything he touches and sees is a new discovery. So little Luke Smith has no idea how much he's been through, but that doesn't make his story any less touching.

Luke is 17 months old. His mother, Erin Musolf, describes him as "very sweet. He's well-behaved. He sleeps good through the night. He's just a wonderful kid."

But when Luke was around a year old, she noticed something different about the way he looked in pictures.

"When you take a photograph and you see like a red... you know like a red eye in pictures, we started noticing like a white reflect, kind of like if you see in animals and stuff. And then we started asking our pediatrician about it and found out that's one of the biggest signs," Musolf explained.

This reflection is one of the biggest signs of retinoblastoma.  Retinoblastoma is a big word for a cancer of the retina. Most of the time it's hereditary. It happens in children usually between the ages of 2 to 5. The only treatment at Luke's advanced stage is to remove the eye. Early detection is key.

"We see patients in all of mid-Missouri, so a million or more patient draw area and of those we probably see one every 2 to 4 years," said ophthalmologist Dean Hainsworth.

When Luke's mom first heard her child had retinoblastoma it was devastating.

"I just felt kind of sick, 'cause I knew exactly that was cancer," said Musolf.

The cancer appeared in both eyes, the left eye much worse than the right, so doctors had to take it out.

For a $25 donation, people went to Key Largo Fitness and Tanning for a day of fun and exercise to make a difference in baby Luke's life.

"It just touches your heart, and we just want to do what we can for him," said friend and fitness instructor Lauretta Wise. "Everybody's, like I said, been wonderful about donating and just caring. Columbia really is a very caring town."

"It's just a wonderful cause to be able to give back some of what we've been given to help his family when they need it," said Key Largo owner Melanie Karrick.

So, what can Luke look forward in the near future?

"Well, they'll have to wait for this to be completely healed and all the swelling to go down and then we'll go in and see somebody that makes the glass eye, the prosthetic," said Musolf.

Luke should get this prosthetic within the next month or two.

You can donate to the Luke Smith fund by mailing donations, send a check or money order to:

Key Largo Fitness and Tanning

701 Hillsdale Rd. Suite 101

Columbia, MO 65201.

Attn Lauretta Make checks payable to: Luke Smith Fund

More News

Grid
List
NAYLOR (AP) — Two southeast Missouri men have been honored as heroes for saving a man and his toddler son... More >>
2 hours ago December 04, 2016 Dec 4, 2016 Sunday, December 04 2016 Sunday, December 04, 2016 12:04:12 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - The first Chocolate Festival in Columbia will allow mid-Missouri residents to snack on tasty treats while giving back... More >>
9 hours ago December 04, 2016 Dec 4, 2016 Sunday, December 04 2016 Sunday, December 04, 2016 5:16:00 AM CST in Top Stories
CAMDEN COUNTY - One man was airlifted to the hospital Friday after his vehicle overturned. According to the Missouri... More >>
17 hours ago December 03, 2016 Dec 3, 2016 Saturday, December 03 2016 Saturday, December 03, 2016 9:22:34 PM CST in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) - Authorities are investigating after tools and equipment were stolen from a Kansas City woodworking shop where... More >>
17 hours ago December 03, 2016 Dec 3, 2016 Saturday, December 03 2016 Saturday, December 03, 2016 8:54:00 PM CST in News
KIRKSVILLE - The Kirksville Arts Center broke out in flames Friday evening. According to an email from the Kirksville... More >>
18 hours ago December 03, 2016 Dec 3, 2016 Saturday, December 03 2016 Saturday, December 03, 2016 7:42:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - A film about the life of a Missouri artist and politician was shown for free on Saturday. ... More >>
20 hours ago December 03, 2016 Dec 3, 2016 Saturday, December 03 2016 Saturday, December 03, 2016 6:09:00 PM CST in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Stephen Webber has been elected as the new Chair of the Missouri Democratic Party on Saturday. ... More >>
22 hours ago December 03, 2016 Dec 3, 2016 Saturday, December 03 2016 Saturday, December 03, 2016 4:12:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - People came to celebrate Kwanzaa early this year at the Progressive Missionary Baptist on Saturday. The African-American... More >>
22 hours ago December 03, 2016 Dec 3, 2016 Saturday, December 03 2016 Saturday, December 03, 2016 4:05:00 PM CST in News
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — A Missouri woman faces 12 years in federal prison for leading a fraud scheme. The U.S.... More >>
22 hours ago December 03, 2016 Dec 3, 2016 Saturday, December 03 2016 Saturday, December 03, 2016 3:29:38 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA – Over 40 local authors showed off their work and networked with other writers at the Local Authors Open... More >>
23 hours ago December 03, 2016 Dec 3, 2016 Saturday, December 03 2016 Saturday, December 03, 2016 2:55:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - Around 10 a.m. Saturday, a man driving his car northbound near Highway 63 and Stadium flipped over. No... More >>
1 day ago December 03, 2016 Dec 3, 2016 Saturday, December 03 2016 Saturday, December 03, 2016 11:38:33 AM CST in Top Stories
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri lawmakers have struggled to find a way to pay for repairs along thousands of miles... More >>
1 day ago December 03, 2016 Dec 3, 2016 Saturday, December 03 2016 Saturday, December 03, 2016 10:59:00 AM CST in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Missouri is seeing a startling decline in methamphetamine lab seizures, but it isn't because users are... More >>
1 day ago December 03, 2016 Dec 3, 2016 Saturday, December 03 2016 Saturday, December 03, 2016 10:50:00 AM CST in News
COLUMBIA - The Women's Symphony League kicked off the annual Holiday Home Tour, which is its biggest fundraiser of the... More >>
1 day ago December 03, 2016 Dec 3, 2016 Saturday, December 03 2016 Saturday, December 03, 2016 4:12:00 AM CST in News
JEFFERSON CITY- The Jefferson City Fire Department responded to reports of smoke coming from a building in the 200 block... More >>
1 day ago December 03, 2016 Dec 3, 2016 Saturday, December 03 2016 Saturday, December 03, 2016 3:57:00 AM CST in Top Stories
COLUMBIA - Following the election of Donald Trump, some students gathered for what they called a "positivity event". KOMU sent... More >>
1 day ago December 02, 2016 Dec 2, 2016 Friday, December 02 2016 Friday, December 02, 2016 7:05:00 PM CST in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri lawmakers are proposing bills that would make attacking a law enforcement officer a hate crime.... More >>
1 day ago December 02, 2016 Dec 2, 2016 Friday, December 02 2016 Friday, December 02, 2016 4:51:13 PM CST in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Lawmakers are proposing bills that would make Missouri a right-to-work state. The Springfield News-Leader... More >>
1 day ago December 02, 2016 Dec 2, 2016 Friday, December 02 2016 Friday, December 02, 2016 4:46:41 PM CST in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 39°
3pm 40°
4pm 41°
5pm 41°
6pm 40°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

12:00p
PGA Tour Golf
3:00p
World Long Drive Championship
4:00p
Swimming
1:30p
King Kong
4:00p
12 Dog Days till Christmas
6:00p
Labyrinth

Tonight's Schedule

6:00p
Football Night in America
7:20p
Sunday Night Football
6:00p
Labyrinth
8:00p
Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld