Who knew a photo could save a life?
It happened for Andrea Temarantz and her 4-month-old son Ryder after the Phoenix, Arizona, mom noticed something strange when she would take pictures of her baby.
A white glow seemed to cover Ryder’s left eye in photos, but Temarantz was convinced it had something to do with the camera she was using. But even after making a new camera purchase, the issue persisted – in fact, she says the white glow appeared in 97 percent of the photographs that were used with flash.
“I would start to turn off the flash because the glare is so bad, but then it had dawned on me that I had seen a photo like that before [on Facebook],” she told Fox News Insider.
Temarantz decided to take Ryder – who has Down syndrome – to the doctor to get his eye checked out.
The doctor referred the pair to a specialist and Ryder was given a diagnosis: retinoblastoma, a rare form of eye cancer (not connected to Down syndrome).
While most kids are more likely to be diagnosed with retinoblastoma at 12-18 months, Ryder received his diagnosis at 4 months old, giving the infant a 99 percent chance of recovery following a necessary procedure to remove the tumor in his left eye.
This isn’t the first time retinoblastoma has made headlines. Earlier this month, PEOPLE featured father Bryan Shaw, whose son Noah was also diagnosed with the rare form of cancer seven years ago when he was 3 months old. Although Noah underwent surgery to remove his right eye and is currently doing well, Shaw created an iPhone app to detect different eye conditions in children.
“It’s going to be tough to eliminate vision loss, but this software can eliminate the death associated with this disease just by early diagnosis,” Shaw told PEOPLE. “At the worst, they lose one or both of their eyes – but they still have their life.”