Sun | Apr 30, 2017

Vision of hope! LIME Foundation gives cancer survivor kids reason to smile

Published:Saturday | January 3, 2015 | 1:00 AM
Young Rihanna is safe in the arms of Senior Medical Officer at the Bustamante Hospital for Children, Dr Michelle-Ann Richards-Dawson, as the three-year-old shows off her newly fitted prosthetic eye, courtesy of the LIME Foundation. The joy was also felt by General Manager of B & D Dental and Prosthetics, Audrey Barnes (left), Rihannas mom, Miss D (second right) and LIME Foundation Programmes Manager, Courtney Bell (right). Rihanna lost one of her eyes to cancer at three months old.
Four-year-old Jermaine Walters (seated) is all smiles after receiving the perfect gift of a prosthetic eye, courtesy of the LIME Foundation. Sharing the happy moment were (from left): Patient affairs officer at the Bustamante Hospital for Children, Kathleen Cooper-Brown, Senior Medical Officer at the Bustamante Hospital for Children, Dr Michelle-Ann Richards-Dawson, LIME Foundation Programmes Manager, Courtney Bell, and Jermaines mom, Tanesha Lawrence. Jermaine lost an eye to optic nerve cancer in 2011.
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Two promising youngsters, who grew unhappy after losing an eye each to cancer, were given reason to smile again, thanks to the LIME Foundation.

Young Rihanna, an energetic three-year-old, and Jermaine Walters, a four-year-old student of the White Hall Basic School, in St Ann, received their most desired Christmas gift of a prosthetic eye.

True to the season of giving, the Foundation approached the Bustamante Hospital for Children and offered to assist patients in need of medical attention but whose parents were unable to afford the cost.

When hospital staff identified the two children, the Foundations executive chairman Errol Miller, immediately contacted B & D Dental and Prosthetics to facilitate measurement and fitting for the prosthetic eyes. Mr. Miller shared, Their story really touched our hearts. At such tender ages, both would have already been through a lot, yet they show determination to overcome the odds. We, therefore, felt it was our duty to help to bring them as close as possible to normal.

After both children were fitted, Senior Medical Officer at the Bustamante Hospital for Children, Dr Michelle-Ann Richards-Dawson, congratulated B & D Dental and Prosthetics for doing an excellent job, as it was difficult for her to tell the good eye from the artificial one.

Dr Dawson explained that, Prostheses are not just for looks, but is important for the natural growth of the face. If there is no prosthesis in the eye socket, that side of the face will not grow at the same rate as the side with the good eye.

Rihanna, who is currently home-schooled but will attend a public institution in September, was diagnosed with optic nerve glioma, a brain tumor in the area of the optic nerve, when she was only 3 months old. The tumour, along with the eye, were removed in December 2012, and an artificial eye inserted.

As Rihanna grew, the eye became too small for the socket and would fall out, hence the need for a replacement.

As playful as ever

Since receiving the new eye, her mother, Miss D says, Rihanna now takes it out to show her friends saying, look at me new eye. She is as playful as ever and full of energy.

She continued, I am so thankful to the Lord and the LIME Foundation for giving Rihanna a new eye as I could not afford it on my own, and wish that you continue your good works.

Young Jermaine lost his eye in December 2011, due to a cancerous tumour growing behind the eye that had to be removed along with the eye at the Bustamante Hospital.

After the loss of his eye, Jermaine shunned school for fear of being teased by other children. On returning home after receiving his prosthetic eye, Jermaines seven-year-old brother, Kevon, shouted Jermaine, yuh have two eyes like me now. His friends are now very happy for him and Jermaine now spends a lot of time in front of the mirror, smiles more often and cannot wait for school to reopen.

His mother, Tanesha Lawrence and father, Mr Walters, were very happy to receive the assistance for their son. Miss Lawrence beamed, We are most grateful to the LIME Foundation for getting the eye made for Jermaine as he is visibly more confident and more playful now. We wish you can help more children.

The Foundation will continue its work to help more children by the establishment of a fund for the treatment of children with paediatric cancer. Come Sunday, January 18, 2015, the LIME Foundation Portmore 6K will be staged to raise these funds. Registration is $1,000 per participant and persons may sign-up at LIME stores at Carlton on Half-Way Tree Road, Sovereign and Portmore.

For easier registration, participants may go online at www.runningeventsja.com.

CAPTION - Young Rihanna is safe in the arms of Senior Medical Officer at the Bustamante Hospital for Children, Dr Michelle-Ann Richards-Dawson, as the three-year-old shows off her newly fitted prosthetic eye, courtesy of the LIME Foundation. The joy was also felt by General Manager of B & D Dental and Prosthetics, Audrey Barnes (left), Rihannas mom, Miss D (second right) and LIME Foundation Programmes Manager, Courtney Bell (right). Rihanna lost one of her eyes to cancer at three months old.

CAPTION - Four-year-old Jermaine Walters (seated) is all smiles after receiving the perfect gift of a prosthetic eye, courtesy of the LIME Foundation. Sharing the happy moment were (from left): Patient affairs officer at the Bustamante Hospital for Children, Kathleen Cooper-Brown, Senior Medical Officer at the Bustamante Hospital for Children, Dr Michelle-Ann Richards-Dawson, LIME Foundation Programmes Manager, Courtney Bell, and Jermaines mom, Tanesha Lawrence. Jermaine lost an eye to optic nerve cancer in 2011.