When Rhiana first went to the doctor to get checked out for a sore left eye, doctors told her she had a case of conjunctivitis, also known as pink eye.GoFundMe
But when her symptoms worsened following treatment, doctors were clued in to a more serious problem.
In a post on GoFundMe, a friend of Rhiana’s explained doctors prescribed the 29-year-old Perth, Australia, woman steroids to treat her suspected case of conjunctivitis; as a result, it fueled the growth of the cancerous mass that was actually sitting on her optic nerve and brain stem:
Unfortunately, this diagnosis has come late. Diagnois has taken two years. Rhiana was originally prescribed steroids to battle what they first thought she had. It appears the steroids have assisted in the growth of the tumour.
According to 7News, after her eyes were first examined, Rhiana began experiencing headaches, blurred vision, and facial numbness.
An MRI revealed the young woman had a tumor which was causing excruciating pain, as Rhiana explained to 7News:
“Along here from my nose into my eye … (it felt) like someone tasering my face.”
Doctors had to inform the young woman the prognosis was terminal:
“I asked [the doctor] ‘so am I going to die from this?’ and she said ‘yes.'”
According to GoFundMe, doctors told Rhiana they weren’t able to operate on the malignant mass because of the risks involved and the “rarity” of the tumor. While the news would have devastated any cancer sufferer, Rhiana has remained hopeful about her condition, if not optimistic. As GoFundMe states:
She suffers with extreme pain, blurred vision, numbness in her face and is often too unwell to get out of her bed. Throughout the repeated tests and incorrect diagnosis/treatment over the past two years, this tragic news (which would bring most to their knees) has not dulled her ever present sparkle. Rhiana is full of positivity and strength at the start of what truly is the fight of her life. She refuses to give up on life and is instead doing everything within her power to change her fate.
Although the initial outlook was grim, Rhiana may have a second chance through the help of an internationally renowned neurosurgeon based in Sydney, according to the GoFundMe. Dr. Charlie Teo may handle Rhiana’s case but she must raise the $100,000 needed to pay for her surgery and recovery. Rhiana’s friends are hoping the contributions made through GoFundMe will help give the young woman a fighting chance. Her friend continued:
Rhiana loves everyone around her dearly, and puts out positivity to everybody who is touched by her. Hopefully we can pass on our positivity to keep her going through this gruelling fight.
According to 7News, Rhiana also wants to use her story to warn others about seemingly harmless symptoms that could be the sign of something more: “Listen to your body.”
And though dire, her situation will not be what defines her, as she said: “I know the story doesn’t end that way. Not for me.”
Listen to Rhiana tell her story in the video below.