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Mom’s Photos of Baby With Down Syndrome May Have Saved His Life


A mother’s photos of her 4-month-old son with Down syndrome may have saved his life.

Like any new mom would, Andrea Temarantz, 36, took lots of photos of her son Ryder Temarantz when he was born. But this past December she noticed the camera flashes produced a “white glow” in Ryder’s left eye in many of the photos.

At first Temarantz chalked it up to a bad camera, but even after she switched to a nicer model, the effect persisted. At a checkup at the doctor in January, Temarantz, still not thinking much of it, mentioned the “white glow.” Within 24 hours, Ryder was diagnosed with retinoblastoma in his left eye. A white tumor mass in the back of Ryder’s eye was reflecting light from camera flashes.

Photo of a baby where the flash has created a glow in the left eye.

Ryder is now getting treatment at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City. The tumor has not spread to other critical organs of his body, Dr. David H. Abramson, chief of the Ophthalmic Oncology Service at Memorial Sloan Kettering, told ABC News.

“It’s one of those cancers that can be fatal if not detected early,” Abramson told the outlet, “so it’s great his mom noticed it early and got it checked out.”

According to the National Down Syndrome Society, there is an “increasing concern” that retinoblastoma may be diagnosed more frequently among people with Down syndrome.

Ryder will be undergoing three to six rounds of ophthalmic artery chemosurgery, but his odds of recovering from the cancer and still having some vision in his left eye are 99 percent. 

Get more on the story from the video below: 

Keep up with Ryder’s journey, or donate to his treatment by going here.