‘I thought my baby had a lazy eye but he had a rare cancer which has been treated in Birmingham’

Becky Flower and Damien Stephens with baby Sol who underwent treatment for a rare cancer at Birmingham Children's HospitalBecky Flower and Damien Stephens with baby Sol who underwent treatment for a rare cancer at Birmingham Children's Hospital
Becky Flower and Damien Stephens with baby Sol who underwent treatment for a rare cancer at Birmingham Children's Hospital
Baby ‘Super Sol’ has undergone treatment at Birmingham Women and Childrens Hospital to combat a rare form of cancer

Parents who thought their baby had a lazy eye were shocked to discover it was actually a sign of rare cancer - before the tot had his left eye removed.

Becky Flower, 34, gave birth to little Sol, 13 months, on March 9, 2023, and says he was the "easiest baby" as he never cried. But soon after Sol's birth, Becky and her partner, Damien Stephens, 43, a technician, noticed a problem with his sight - as the shape of his left eye was changing.

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Sol was transferred to Birmingham Women and Children’s Hospital after his parents took the tot to Camborne Redruth Community Hospital, in Cornwall, and were at first referred to the specialist eye department before being sent to Royal Cornwall Hospital for an MRI scan. 

At Birmingham Children's Hospital a biopsy revealed that Sol had a primitive myxoid mesenchymal tumour behind his eye - a rare sarcoma that affects infants. Sol underwent four rounds of chemotherapy and seven surgeries - including biopsies and two operations to remove the tumour  - where they removed his eye and the tumour.

The surgeon was only able to remove 95 per cent of the tumour and Sol is about to start proton beam therapy - a type of radiotherapy that uses a beam of high energy protons to target the tumour.

Becky Flower and Damien Stephens with baby Sol who underwent treatment for a rare cancer at Birmingham Children's HospitalBecky Flower and Damien Stephens with baby Sol who underwent treatment for a rare cancer at Birmingham Children's Hospital
Becky Flower and Damien Stephens with baby Sol who underwent treatment for a rare cancer at Birmingham Children's Hospital

Becky, who cares full time for Sol, said: "He has the nickname 'super Sol' he has smashed it completely. He has been smiling throughout, he has been amazing throughout it all.

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"We just thought he might have had a lazy eye - we were so shocked when we found out it was cancer. He does have days where he can't be himself as the chemicals from the drugs have beaten him - he does have bad days."

When did Becky discover Sol’s cancer?

Sol was born on March 9, 2023, weighing 7lbs 10oz at Royal Cornwall Hospital. Becky said Sol was the "perfect baby" as he rarely ever cried but noticed his eyes were different. She said: "His eyes weren't matching. We went for a weighing down at our community drop-in centre and they mentioned his eye too."

Becky and Damien took Sol to hospital - where he underwent examinations. Becky said: "Sol was only five months old at this point and they did an MRI. They referred us to Birmingham Women and Children's Hospital and sent the MRI up there."

In October 2023, Sol had a biopsy on his eye - which revealed a tumour had started to grow rapidly behind his eye and would push on his left eye causing his eye to change shape. She said: "By this point we still didn't know it was cancer, but because the tumour became so aggressive Sol had emergency operation to remove it.

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"We stayed in Birmingham for a few nights and we went home. When we got home we got the call to say that Sol had cancer. It was an absolute shock, we were seeing all the specialists and having check ups to monitor his eye. They thought it might be a cyst or a strawberry birthmark but they never thought it would be cancer."

‘Utter shock’

After Sol was diagnosed, Becky said she went into "utter shock". Becky and Damien noticed that the tumour had grown back after his eye started changing shape.

Becky said: "Days later he started his first round of chemo. He also had an operation to remove part of his testicle as the chemo will make him infertile. He had four rounds of chemotherapy and then an operation in February 2024 to remove the tumour and his eye."

Doctors were able to remove 95 per cent of the tumour but the other five per cent was left due to its location. Now, chemotherapy is not killing the cancer so Sol is about to start proton beam therapy.

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Super Sol is battling a rare form of sarcoma cancerSuper Sol is battling a rare form of sarcoma cancer
Super Sol is battling a rare form of sarcoma cancer

Becky said: "This is the last roll of the dice, he will have therapy every day for six to seven weeks. The chemo is not managing to kill or shrink the cancer at all and a surgery to remove what is left is far too dangerous."

Becky and Damien have also started a JustGiving page to support them as they have both had to stay off work to look after Sol full-time. Becky said: "We have smashed through our wedding fund which we had £10k saved for.

"The money we have generated throughout the years has also gone due to travel and other expenses. We haven't been able to work since his diagnosis because, due to his age, he needs round-the-clock care."

A family friend, Tash, is aiming to run 5km every day throughout September to raise money for Sol and has already raised over £4,000. To donate, visit - Just giving to support Super Sol

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