Georgia mom discovers son has rare cancer because of accidental iPhone photo

ATLANTA — A simple iPhone photo alerted a Georgia mom that her 3-month-old son had a rare form of cancer.

Asher is now 7-years-old and is graduating from treatment to the Aflac Cancer & Blood Disorders Center survivorship clinic at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.

But what is now an amazing tale of survival could have turned out much differently if it weren’t for an accidental photo.

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When Asher was three months old, his mother was casually taking pictures of him when the flash accidentally went off. The flash startled baby Asher, who opened his eyes wide.

When his mother went to delete the overexposed photo, she noticed something strange: Rather than the red eye effect that is usually caused by a flash, Asher’s entire right pupil glowed white.

Asher’s mother, who was in nursing school, remembered immediately learning about “the glow.”

“Right then and there, she knew her son had cancer,” Children’s Healthcare wrote on Facebook.


Tumors in the eye show up in photo flashes as white, because tumors cover the otherwise reddish reflection of the retina. The phenomenon is known as Leucocoria, Retinoblastoma can be curable up to six months after Leucocoria is detected.

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Asher was soon diagnosed with Grade D Retinoblastoma and came close to losing his right eye.

Retinoblastoma is a rare form of cancer that rapidly develops from the immature cells of a retina, the light-detecting tissue of the eye.

Since then, Asher has undergone 54 eye exams, laser and cryotherapy and numerous rounds of systemic chemotherapy.

Despite losing his vision in his right eye, Asher now plays karate, baseball and loves LEGOs.