News Releases

RB Kids Day

April 15, 2015

Media contact: Joy Bell, 404-778-3711,  jbell@emory.edu
MEDIA: If you would like to interview a family, contact Joy Bell at 404-778-371; cell: 404-290-9513.

Child Survivors of Eye Cancer to Gather for Emory’s 17th Annual RB Picnic

RB Kids Day

(ATLANTA) The seventeenth annual RB Picnic, coordinated by Emory Eye Center, will be held from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Saturday, May 10, at Mason Mill Park, 1340 McConnell Dr. in Decatur. This very special event promises a day of fun and celebration for both the young patients and their families who have faced this formerly fatal childhood cancer of the eye called retinoblastoma (RB).

A tumor of the retina (the back of the eye), RB can be hereditary or non-hereditary. When hereditary, it can affect both eyes and sometimes other organs of the body, whereas the non-hereditary type will usually only affect one eye. RB mainly affects young children and occurs in one in 20,000 live births. In its most serious form, it can metastasize to other parts of the body, resulting in death. In decades past, RB often meant certain death for these children. Today’s statistics are much more heartening. In fact, today more than 90% of RB children survive the disease.

On May 10 some 45 to 60 young patients, typically ranging in ages from infancy up to 12 years of age, and their families come from all over Georgia and the Southeast—and sometimes as far away as Europe. The highly anticipated day of celebration includes an inflatable jumping gym, games, crafts, music, great food, and “Happy Tails” pet-assisted therapy.  

“The RB Picnic is my favorite event of the year,” says Baker Hubbard, MD, Emory Eye Center’s pediatric retinal specialist who treats these children. “I love getting to see all of our RB families together in an enjoyable setting away from the hospital.  I know this year’s event will be tremendous, and I look forward to celebrating with everyone on May 10th.”

“Each year RB Day gets better. Our retinoblastoma program headed up by Dr. Baker Hubbard, part of the Ocular Oncology program at the Emory Eye Center, has evolved into the leading center of excellence in patient care for pediatric oncology in the region. This picnic is a way to recognize the remarkable success in treatment of this condition.  It’s also a way to recognize the kids who are shining stars to all of us,” says Timothy W. Olsen, MD, director of the Emory Eye Center.

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