Katie’s Retinoblastoma Story: From horse riding to modelling

by | Mar 20, 2023 | My story

My names Katie and I was diagnosed with retinoblastoma (Rb) at four years old. I’m now twenty-years-old and living in the outskirts of Glasgow. I’m currently studying events management whilst working part time as a supervisor at a local golf club.
Before I was diagnosed my mum noticed my pupil looking different, I was sent straight to the hospital to find out it was a Grade E tumour which would have to be removed to save my life. The type of treatment I had was called JOE chemotherapy to treat the cancer cells. During my treatment I visited seven different hospitals across England. Many months later I was in remission but still needed to be seen to regularly by oncologists and doctors to be on the safe side.
A young Katie smiling next to a horse A young Katie riding a horse
As soon as I got the all clear I went and saw my pony at the time. I have always loved being around horses. From an early age I have competed in many competitions and won. Having one eye, my depth perception felt like an issue, however riding horses has helped me improve my depth perception. I have always taken for granted how well I could ride with one eye.
Katie is modelling
My goal for now and the future is to help spread awareness of different disabilities and help people young and old feel more confident in themselves and in their bodies and to help prevent bullying.
After posting a picture of myself without my prosthetic eye in I felt so confident in myself which has lead me being signed with a modelling agency who focus on people with different disabilities.
My message to anyone who has been/is diagnosed with retinoblastoma is to be true to yourself and love yourself the way you are. Your imperfections are what makes you unique.
If you are a teen or young adult and would like to talk to one of our support workers, get in touch.
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https://youtu.be/oHoMYTIGzc4   Recently some teens and young adults who have had retinoblastoma got together to do a podcast as part of a research day. To end the day, they answered some questions about their experiences of Rb! A huge thank you to everyone who...