India is a budding young artist with an easy smile and sweet spirit.
In October, she was at her great grandfather’s funeral when great grandmother JoAnn noticed that India’s eye seemed swollen.
Concerned, JoAnn took India to their family doctor. A quick x-ray led to a more extensive scan at a local hospital. The results led to an unexpected trip to Duke Children’s Hospital to confirm the diagnosis of retinoblastoma, a rare childhood eye cancer.
Because the disease could spread beyond her eye or take India’s vision, JoAnn soon packed the 5-year-old for her first week of treatment at Duke − and her first week of residency at Ronald McDonald House.
India’s gentle nature and creative interests made her an instant House favorite. Regular art sessions in the dining room produced paintings and even colorful pinecones she proudly displayed for others to see.
India’s weeks of treatment have ended, and she and JoAnn have returned home to their close-knit community in Cumberland County, where the two are embraced by family and friends.
Your love kept them together during the difficult and unexpected journey of childhood cancer. JoAnn said the day they left, “This place has been just like home. We’ll miss it, and all of you, so much.”