Story of Hope:Zach
Last year, a local family noticed something a little different with their six month old baby, but didn't think much about it. But in a matter of weeks, their lives were turned upside down. In this Story of Hope, we meet Zach and see how St. Jude helped his family through one of the most difficult times of their lives.
Wednesday, May 7th 2014, 4:23 pm EDT
Little Zach Floyd likes to play outside like any other toddler.
His dad says they noticed when he was about six months that he had a lazy eye. They didn't think it was anything major and the doctor told them to come back in a month.
It was definitely something major. Zach was diagnosed with retinal blastoma at just six months old.
Andrew Floyd, Zach's dad, "they sent us that day to St. Jude and we were there that week they removed his eye and contained the cancer within that eye at that time."
Doctors said at that point there was no way to save the eye. They began the process for fitting Zach for a prosthetic eye.
Andrew Floyd, dad, "they had to put a mold in Zach's eye, but once they did that they took it out and he would hold it up to Zach's eye and he would free hand paint the colors, even the vein using threads and stuff like that.">
The eye has to be adjusted as Zach grows. Zach wears these great glasses to protect his other eye. In just a short amount of time, Andrew says their lives were turned upside down. They went from having a healthy bouncing baby, to one who was fighting for his young life. But they had a great support system and help along the difficult journey.
Andrew Floyd, "from the moment we walked in the door, everyone was so helpful, everyone was looking out after him like he was their own child."
They go back every six to eight weeks so doctors can monitor the other eye. While Zach is doing great now with no signs of cancer, Andrew says they are certainly not out of the woods just yet.
Andrew Floyd, "because he was so young when they found it, it means it is much more likely to come up in both eyes, so they are going to continue to treat him and monitor him for that."
In the meantime the family says they can't put into word what St. Jude means to them. They say your support for St. Jude means more than you will ever know for so many families like them. Zach is leaving his mark at the Dream Home floor signing, a reminder of why all of this matters.
Natalie Floyd, Zach's mom, "it's really amazing to come out here and know they are doing this for kids like Zach so we don't have to worry about anything, just taking care of Zach and making sure he is okay."