Eye cancer encouraging Douglass teen to become eye surgeon, find - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Eye cancer encouraging Douglass teen to become eye surgeon, find positivity in survival

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Kyra has been cancer free for eight years (Source: KTRE Staff) Kyra has been cancer free for eight years (Source: KTRE Staff)
Kyra says her experience helped her decide to become an eye surgeon (Source: KTRE Staff) Kyra says her experience helped her decide to become an eye surgeon (Source: KTRE Staff)
DOUGLASS, TX (KTRE) - A glass eye is not holding one Douglass teen back from living out her dreams of becoming an eye surgeon. 11-year-old Kyra George was diagnosed with retinoblastima, a rare form of eye cancer, eight years ago.

"We noticed a white light in her right eye, and my mother-in-law said 'Does her right eye look funny to you?' and we said 'Yeah,'" said Samantha Lane, Kyra's mom.

After doing several at-home eye tests, Kyra told her mom she couldn't see out of her right eye. That's when they rushed her to an eye doctor in Nacogdoches, Lane said.

"I noticed when they started doing the test, I heard a lot of whispers, and I knew something was wrong," Lane said.

The eye doctor recommended Lane take Kyra to Texas Children's Hospital in Houston. However, once they got there, Lane said she was absolutely shocked when she got the prognosis.

"We ended up on a cancer floor and my husband and I were kind of like 'What do you mean? Why are we here?' and when we got to the back, one of the people there just came in and said 'You do know she has cancer, right?'" Lane said.

The news was devastating, she said.

"When you hear the word cancer, your world completely crashes," Lane said. "I remember talking to my mom, and they didn't know how bad it was at the time and going through it still now today - eight years later - it's not really easy."

In August of 2006, Kyra had to have her right eye removed after doctors discovered she had a tumor. Doctors could not replace Kyra's eye, Lane said. Since then, Kyra has had to live with a glass eye.

"That's a big thing to go through; a big surgery. But, we were OK with it as long as we had her," Lane said.

Kyra's glass eye is hardly noticeable, but she said kids still make fun of her.

"They say stuff at school like 'Why does it look like that?' and even little kids come, up and you don't really know what to tell them because you don't want to embarrass yourself or them," Kyra said.

Kyra added that it is hard, but the negativity isn't holding her back from pursuing her dream of becoming an eye surgeon because, "I knew that [the doctors] had helped me, and I wanted to be able to have that experience and help others that are fighting for that too."

"Next month, she'll be eight years free - she's a survivor," Lane said.

If you have a survivors story you would like to share or know of someone who has overcome a life challenge, email Michelle Reed at mreed@ktre.com.

Copyright 2014 KTRE. All rights reserved.

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