soap opera star Hunter Tylo and her husband Steve [sic;
Michael] they don't need a special day be thankful,
every day see their baby daughter alive and well is
a day of thanksgiving. But little could
Hunter Tylo expect that the disease which struck her
daughter would also strike the family of an old friend
whose also a soap star. Steve Noble
with the story of coincidence and hope.
segment aired on November 28, 2002, as part of the
show's Thanksgiving Day episode.
is soap star Hunter Tylo today with her five year old
daughter Katya, happy times, but it hasn't always been
so easy. For years since Katya's diagnosis in 1997 with
retinoblastoma we have followed the Tylos' struggle
with heartbreak. From check ups to operating room, we
where there as Hunter and Michael bravely battled this
rare form of eye cancer. A dies ease that forced Katya
to have her right eye removed.
talks about Inside Edition keeping track
of the Tylo families ordeal with Katya's battle
with retinoblastoma. Various shots of Hunter, Michael,
and Katya; and Katya various treatment sessions
in her battle with Rb.
We were devastated, our world was absolutely upside-down.
We felt like we were the only people on the entire
face of the earth that were going through this
the Tylos turned their anguish into action, raising
money and awareness of often deadly disease. But the
Tylo's dramatic story did not stop there, you're about
to hear of an amazing, remarkable turn of events, that
begins with this man, his wife Christine [sic; Christina],
and their little girl Emma (shot of her playing the
amazing that all these things came together at this
of Matt and Missy from DAYS;
Jack is hugging Jennifer, breaks off and says, "That
is the power of love.
is Matthew Ashford, a popular regular on Days
of Our Lives, and a long time friend of Hunter's
dating back when she was on the show over a decade
of Hunter from
The Bold and the Beautiful.
(Shot of Matt pushing Emma on a swing) As an actor
Matthew's played dramatic scenes involving sick children,
but nothing could prepare him for the real life drama
he experienced in 1997.
it really happens, and I am uh, really holding a baby,
my own child, who has this mysterious illness that
I can't see. (Scenes of Emma) That's, you know, eating
her up inside.
what was "the mysterious illness" inflicting
his daughter Emma? (Scenes of Emma at the doctor's,
with Matt and Christina watching on) Well, doctors
found six cancer like tumors in each of her eyes.
(Emma sliding down a slide) A rare disease, in the
whole world there are only about 8,000 such cases
of doctor testing Emma's eyes, asking her to read
letters on the wall. Next more scenes of Emma playing
in a tree house.
By now you may have guessed it, Emma had retinoblastoma,
and so now the two friends and former co-stars faced
the same nightmare.
And then four months into it we were, you know, just
going through the chemo, finishing up and suddenly
finding out that Hunter and Michael were going through
the same thing. And, eh you know, supposedly this
of Hunter holding Katya, who has a patch over her
left eye) Then on the day little Katya had her eye
removed, Matthew happened to call Hunter (Shot of
Hunter with Grace; and then of Matt picking up Emma)
sharing the news of his daughter Emma's diagnosis.
I was absolutely blown away.
(Emma and Katya are playing the game Sorry)
Both girls have had an eye removed, but are in good
health, and receive regular check-ups at the Children's
Hospital in Los Angeles.
(Christina, Matt, Hunter, and Michael, and Grace, are
seen talking in the kitchen) And you might think this
kind of terrible news would rip these families apart,
(scene of Emma playing with Katya) but the opposite
has happened. Emma and Katya have struck up struck up
asks Emma what she thinks about her eye, and she
and Matt, and Hunter and Michael) and their families
I don't think any of us believe that it's just a coincidence,
I think we're all here with a mission.
holds Emma and caresses her cheek) That mission (scenes
of Hunter with Katya) includes raising awareness,
and remaining positive (shot of Katya) about the childhood
disease that struck their daughters.
(Emma is climbing up to a tree house) They're very
Michael with Katya) very inquisitive, and I'm sure
they'll be skating boarding together,
playing the piano) in spite of having just one eye.
Fortunately treatment and therapy have reduced the mortality
rate of retinoblastoma which was 100% fatal just a century
to the studio.
Official Retinoblastoma International Homepage