Sariyah Martin Sariyah Strong

                                   Sariyah’s Story 🎗

On Thursday, July 30th, 2020 I noticed the glow in Sariyah’s eye was drastically larger and looked like a white hole. I’ve noticed the glare over the past few weeks but it was small, and only showed at certain angles. I regret it now, by not thinking anymore of it. I had no clue. Now I could see it in photos and for longer moments just looking at her.I immediately had a feeling she needed to be seen. Her doctor got her in and said it was nothing serious. She told me that they’d just done an eye exam at her well check, but they did another one. She said her red reflexes were good, and googled stuff on cloudy eyes. I still wasn’t reassured, call it a mother’s intuition I suppose. But she referred her to an ophthalmologist. However, she let me know it would take weeks if not longer.The next part of the story is nothing short of a God story. A doctor/ friend from work saw the photo I posted and messaged me. She reached out to ophthalmology, and informed me that she wanted to see Sariyah that following Monday. Those were the hardest few days of my life waiting, researching, and praying. All weekend it felt like I was just holding my breath.At the appointment on Monday, August 3rd, 2010 Dr.Schmitt had to dilate her eyes. It took around 25 minutes to work before she could examine. Those 25 minutes felt like hours, I was so anxious.After examining her eyes, she said she needed to step out for a moment that’s when I knew.“She has a tumor in her eye, and there’s a lot of seeding in the back.” It was like I was sitting outside of my body in that moment, I was there but I wasn’t. The rest was a blur, and friends from work walked over and played with Riyah while I talked with the doctor.St.Judes wanted us there that same day, so we could meet with a doctor that specializes with retinoblastoma that following morning.It’s all happening so fast. It’s like a bad dream I just wish I could wake up from. I’m scared, confused, angry heartbroken and everything else. I’m upset her pediatrician said it was all fine, but now I know they just don’t see it that often. When this is over I’ll do my best to make sure there’s more awareness and education, so that all parents will be taken seriously should they ever notice it in their child’s eyes.Out of over 14yrs of working in the hospital I’m always the one making appointments. I’ve seen parents completely undone as doctors have delivered heartbreaking news. But today it’s appointments being made for my own child, it’s me coming completely undone.I will say this God was behind the scenes interceding for Sariyah from the start. My friend Colleen saved her life by interceding on our behalf she knew we didn’t have weeks to wait. And Dr. Schmitt agreed by wanting to see her so fast. I’m also so thankful for being surrounded by an army of amazing coworkers, and for our friends and family.We’ve now been at St.Judes for a few weeks now. We’re learning new terminology, and new routines. It all feels so overwhelming, and scary somedays. When they did her exam under anesthesia they told us she completely threw them for a loop. They told us they were expecting to have to remove her eye.BUT GOD!The tumor isn’t blocking her direct line of vision! However, she has a small tumor in the other eye as well. We’ve started chemo injections+ chemo through her port + cryotherapy and laser therapy.Life is so heavy right now and full of unknowns. But I keep telling myself God is in the business of miracles.This is Sariyah’s story I’m just telling it. But through her may you see a vision of hope, and strength. Through her, may you see Jesus.

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