Crockett one-year-old faces battle with cancer to keep eyesight - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Crockett one-year-old faces battle with cancer to keep eyesight

A rare form of cancer is something a Crockett girl has been battling since she turned one. Miah Collins' eye had turned into the size of a golf ball. Her parents had no idea it was a tumor that would affect her for the rest of her life. The journey the one-year-old has faced to keep her eyesight has been filled with support.

If you have seen Miah Collins laugh and play lately, you wouldn't know she has just been given a cancer free diagnosis. Shortly after turning one in September, Miah's parents noticed her right eye swelling and knew it wasn't due to allergies.

"It kept getting bigger and bigger until a week later it was like almost horrifying to see your baby look like that," Mary Steele, Miah's mother, said.

Miah was taken to Children's Hospital in Dallas for testing.

"They did an MRI and CT and that's when the head oncology doctor came in and told me that it looked like it was a tumor," Steele said. "It's very, very nerve racking. Also, I was seven months pregnant with my son, so it was very emotional."

After biopsy tests, the oncologist diagnosed the one-year-old with rhabdomyosarcoma.

"They said it's pretty rare. Not very many children get it," Steele said. "It's a tumor that attacks weak muscles like the back of your eyes."

Removing the malignant tumor would result in blindness in Miah's right eye. In order to shrink the tumor she underwent 22 weeks of chemotherapy.

"Within the first two to three weeks they noticed her eye was going down and they said this is shocking because this has never happened before. I told them that it was god working and they said yes because they've never seen this happen so quickly," Steele said.

Chemo wasn't the end of the frightening experience for the Crockett girl. In January, she began six weeks of radiation. Once she completed radiation she was given great news.

"They had to put her to sleep everyday and I would have to be in there with her. They did the MRI and CT after that and said it was gone; and I was so happy," Steele said.

"I feel like her time of danger is over as far as her life being in such a high risk of her losing it. I thank god that it is over," Douglas Collins, Miah's father, said.

Miah is recovering one day at time and back to normal one-year-old activities.

"I think the words of encouragement I would give her the most is there's always a brighter side even if it's small; even if it's so small you can't see it," Collins said.

Just as Miah's parents have been there to support their daughter during her battle with cancer they encourage other parents whose child has cancer to stay strong through the journey.

Miah will continue to have check-ups in Dallas every six months. Doctors say as a teenager there is a possibility she will have complications with her eye socket and may have to look into plastic surgery options. For now she's continuing to live life cancer and worry free.

Copyright 2013 KTRE. All rights reserved.

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