There are a range of toys and visual aids designed to help your child adapt to the effects of their retinoblastoma treatment.
Your Rb team will keep you informed on what is available to help meet your child’s needs, dependent on their age. Each centre has different visual aids to help your child so don’t be afraid to ask what is available.
For example, if your child is having chemo, the Rb team in London will use Andrew, a soft doll fitted with his own Hickman line and a port to help explain to your child what will happen to them.
If your child has had an eye removed, patients attending Birmingham may be offered a model head, fitted with artificial eyes, for you and your child to practice on. Children are encouraged to give the model boy’s head a name during their time with him and write a little bit about where he stayed and if he was helpful.
The model heads are given out where appropriate, depending on age and commitment of the child / parents as part of a support programme. They are used as teaching aids to familiarise children and adults with the principles of removing and replacing artificial eyes.
In London children are usually offered a Tino to use and take home which, alongside practicing to remove and replace their own eye, helps younger children to familiarise themselves with what has happened to them.
Can you offer Elli a home?
Hello! My name is Elli - I've just arrived in this country, along with 99 of my identical sisters. I'm looking for a new home to go to and have come all the way from Germany as a gift from the German Eye Cancer Foundation - who are good friends with CHECT.
The lovely team at CHECT felt sure there would be a little girl or boy out there who would offer me a new home and a friendly new family to live with.
You can probably see that I am an elephant - but there is something really special about me. I have a magic eye which I can take out and put back in again!
I was really hoping to meet some children who have a magic eye like me - taking my eye out doesn't scare me and I'd like to find a new keeper who I could help with their magic eye. Do you know anyone who'd like me to come and live with them?
Tino’s in town
Some families may remember Dino the dinosaur, a soft toy designed to help children undergoing enucleation and parents.
Dino was very special indeed; he was the first toy ever to have removable eyes. Cuddly and colourful, Dino was a real hit with children of all ages, not only as a playmate but also to help children talk about artificial eyes.
Sadly due to increasing manufacturing costs, Dino is no longer in production and the Childhood Eye Cancer Trust (CHECT) have been recycling the remaining soft toys to pass on to newly diagnosed families. New families keen to have a Dino have been disappointed as sadly our dinosaur is heading for extinction!
It may be the end for Dino but his legacy lives on - thanks to the work of Retinostop.
Retinostop, a French charity which supports families with retinoblastoma, has worked with CHECT over the years during International Retinoblastoma Awareness Week and other events. Impressed by Dino, the French organisation and the Marie Curie Institute created their own version of Dino - Tino the cat!
Tino was initially designed as a character for a children's book – Mon Oeil Nouveau (My New Eye). Created and illustrated by Retinostop; this marvellous project enables children to read about Mirabel – a little girl with retinoblastoma and her pet cat Tino. Tino has eye problems too and like Mirabel needs "a new eye". This storybook shares their adventures.
Written for both older and younger children, parents are able to talk about treatment using pictures.
Tino – cuddly toy
To complement the book, a soft toy Tino was launched. Tino comes in two sizes – big and small.
Big Tino and Small Tino are brothers. Big Tino comes with a removable eye and is designed for use with support from hospital staff, small Tino (without a removable eye) is intended for the public and is available to buy (15 Euros – includes postage). Ordering can be done on-line. We also have a few available to buy in the CHECT office. Please ask your support worker if you would like to buy one.
To order your Tino, visit the website www.retinostop.org/tino.html
Ordering process is completed in two stages Stage 1 fill in your details and Stage 2 sending your cheque payment. Please note: This webpage is in French if you have difficulties please contact our office and we can help you to process your order.
We love Tino and we hope you will too!
Dino the dinosaur
The Childhood Eye Cancer Trust has been distributing its own soft toy to members for a number of years. Dino is a cuddly toy who takes the form of a dinosaur. Dino shown here, is custom made and comes fitted with removable eyes.
Dino helps young children who have had an eye removed, to adjust to what has happened to them. Siblings also make great use of Dino. He is a huge favourite amongst our members and some patients on the Rb ward ask for him personally!
These soft toys have been in demand around the world, but high production costs have forced the charity to stop making them. Unfortunately for CHECT members, stocks are now running very low. However, we have made an appeal for previous owners of Dinos to return them so other families can get use out of Dino.
Age-appropriate information for 1 to 6-year-olds about retinoblastoma (Rb), treatment, booklets and children's personal stories.
Age-appropriate information for 7 to 11-year-olds about Rb, treatment, personal stories and fun links.
Information for 12 to 18-year-olds about Rb, treatment, personal stories and fun links.