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Lucas Gibbons, 12

Updated: Nov 16, 2022

Social media handles:

Tik Tok- melg0910


Facebook- Melissa Gibbons

Where are you from and where do you live now?

Upstate NY

Lucas at the hospital after his eye removal surgery. Recovering from his cancer treatments. He is a child, in a hospital bed, with a ninja turtle blank, his head is shaved.
Lucas at the hospital

Tell us a little about yourself:

Lucas is in the 6th grade. He loves being outside and playing on his Xbox. He is very tall and mature for his age. He has 2 dogs, Indy and Deede, as well as 2 cats, Robert and Charlie. Lucas has had to grow up quickly because of everything he went through with the loss of his eye. He truly has a heart of gold and is very kind and considerate of others.

What’s your eye story?

Lucas was diagnosed with Retinoblastoma (a form of cancer in his right eye) on 5/7/13 at the age of 3. Lucas received 6 rounds of Chemotherapy at Buffalo Children's Hospital in an attempt to save his eye. It was unsuccessful. On 1/7/14 Lucas had his right eye removed. Lucas adjusted well to only having one eye due to the vision loss he was already experiencing from the tumor. Even though his eye had been removed, and was considered 99.99% cured, Dr.’s discovered cancer cells in his Optic Nerve. Unfortunately, Lucas was again diagnosed with Retinoblastoma, this time in his eye socket. As a result of this, a large mass in his socket had to be surgically removed. Thankfully the surgery, as well as the chemo and radiation afterward, were successful. He finished treatment in December of 2014, and has been in remission now for almost 8 years since!

What has been the most challenging thing mentally?

Lucas handled most of this with grace. Since this happened when he was so young, to him having one eye is no big deal. It has been the only reality he has ever known. However, he did have bad days going through treatment. I always felt he never got to be a kid. For instance, he wasn’t able to start school when other kids did. He wasn’t allowed to be around a lot of people when going through treatment.

What has been the most challenging thing physically?

Lucas did have a hard time learning to write. Although he was right-handed, not having a right eye made it more difficult. Lucas discovered it was actually easier to write left-handed, and so he taught himself.

Where are you now in your recovery?

Lucas has yearly visits with his oncologist and every 6 months with his ocularist. He is doing great.

What piece of advice would you give to someone going through their eye impairment journey?

I am not sure how to answer that.

Who is your eye surgeon and ocularist?

Dr. Reynolds is his eye surgeon and his ocularist is in Hamburg NY

As a caregiver going through this with a child what was your experience?

As a parent, this is the toughest thing I have ever gone through in my life. Lucas was young, it was hard because he had to do all of these things when he didn’t want to. He lost control of his life, and so did I. All you want to do is protect your kid, and I felt I couldn’t. It takes a toll on everything. You will never have your old life back. I joke that I have aged 20 years, but in a sense, it is true, mentally. I have a different outlook on life now. Four words changed our entire life: Your son has cancer. I can tell you everything about that day. We waited in a crowded waiting room, and Lucas was the youngest patient there. The Dr. dilated his eye, looked at it, and said those four words. From there, we went down the hallway for the imaging to be done. After, we scheduled to see his new doctor in a couple of days. I remember going to the car and looking at my phone to see that my dad had called many, many times. I called him back, he said hello, and I just cried and could barely get the words out to tell him what had happened.

As a caregiver what can you share with others that will help them through this experience?

Just remember it will get better. One day at a time. There are gonna be rough, hard days, I can guarantee that, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

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