What this Aunt Saw in Her Toddler Nephew’s Modeling Picture Might Have Saved His Life..


Tina Treadwell was excited to share photos of her toddler, Taylor, with his aunt, Geraldine. The mom planned on submitting them to a modeling agency. However, when Geraldine saw the photos she noticed something peculiar that caused her alarm.

She saw a “shadow” in Taylor’s eyes that reminded her of a story she had read previously. She suggested the toddler get checked out because the article she had read indicated such a thing could be a sign of eye cancer.



The child’s parents had him examined and discovered he did in fact have a rare childhood eye cancer called Retinoblastoma.

[The doctor] asked me to bring in some photos, so I flicked through all the ones I’d taken since Taylor was born.

The glow was there, in his right eye. Even in one where he was just four days old. I’d spotted it before, but assumed it was the camera flash.

I wondered if he always had cancer.

Retinoblastoma is diagnosed in an estimated 200 to 300 children in the United States each year, according to the American Cancer Society.

Childhood Eye Cancer Trust (CHECT) heard about Taylor’s story and asked to use him as one of their campaign models. Taylor’s mom seemed more than happy to oblige:

‘We leapt at the chance to get involved,’ his mother said. ‘At the studio Taylor was in his element. The photographer said he was a natural.

CHECT UK has an early detection campaign that shows parents an easy way to detect possible retinoblastoma in their children. The campaign’s posters contain reflective ink that helps parents to see how the indicator spots in children’s pupils show up when flash photography is used.

Any parent with a camera — or a cellphone with a camera — can take photos of their children using a flash to see if a white spot or “shadow” appears in one or both pupils in the photos. If one does, it means the child should be examined for possible retinoblastoma.