ELMIRA, NY (WETM) – After two-year-old Bryce Williamson was diagnosed with retinoblastoma, his extended family held a fundraiser at the New York Beauty and Barber Academy on May 16 to help pay for his medical bills.
The local family held a “Cut-A-Thon” with all the money from the haircuts going straight to Williamson’s family.
Retinoblastoma is a cancer that starts in the retina, the back of the eye. It is the most common form of childhood eye cancer.
Williamson was diagnosed with this rare cancer before he was even 1 year old.
Terri Herrlick, a self-employed beautician and family friend, described the diagnosis and how difficult it was for the family.
“They decided to do chemotherapy and they left the eye hoping he would regain sight of it,” said Herrlick. “They recently went back for some rechecks because the cancerous tumor was gone and they realized the tumor was back. So they decided to take the eye and now they realize it has spread to his brain. ”
Bryce’s parents Devon and Sam Williamson traveled to Philadelphia with their newborn for exams and treatment. They often stayed in the city for a week at a time.
Now they have transferred their treatment from the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia to a location near Syracuse, but the costs are piling up.
The family will host another benefit event at the Lakewood Sportsman Club at 120 Farm Lane in Elmira on June 6. There will be food, a band, a 50/50 raffle and more.
You can follow Bryce’s story via the special Facebook page: “Bryce’s Army”.