Rare cancer strikes Fresno toddler, mom

FRESNO, Calif.

Josiah Lopez, 1, suffers from retnoblastoma. It's a cancer so rare only 300 children in the U.S. get it each year.

In even rarer instances, it can be passed on from a parent which is what happened to Josiah.

You wouldn't know it by his laugh but 1-year-old Josiah is suffering from cancer. He has several tumors in his eyes.


To help Josiah Lopez


Josiah's mom Valerie knows the disease well, she lost her right eye to the cancer when she was a baby.

And when Josiah was a few months old his grandmother noticed a tell tale sign, a white glare in his eyes.

"She told me, there's something wrong with him, he has the same thing you had. And at first I didn't want to beleive her," Valerie Sanchez said.

Once diagnosed by doctors in San Francisco, at the same hospital his mom treated her cancer, Josiah began chemotherapy.

"He's come a long way, because at first he wasn't able to see at all," Dela Mora said.

In an ironic twist valerie was already undergoing chemotherapy for a tumor that was growing on her skull. Doctors didn't find it until she was pregnant with Josiah.

"I'm just glad I'm still here."

Her cancer is in remission but Josiah's is not.

He still needs treatments. And this single mother says it's tough getting him to his doctors in the Bay Area.

"I don't have the money to go back and forth every two weeks."

His doctors bills are paid for by Medi-Cal and the family recieves assistance from the Children's Cancer Society but they say it's still not enough.

So Josiah's family made signs like this and are taking to the streets hoping for help.

"I try, I'm trying."

Josiah still needs several treatments for his cancer.

He sees his doctors about once a month.

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