Hearts across the nation are being won over by young Beckham Zobrist’s courageous cancer-survivor story. At only 7 years old, Beckham is being open and honest about his struggles and journey of being a retinoblastoma survivor.
From the Chicago Tribune, “His parents and doctors have tried for the last four years to help him embrace his prosthetic, crafting him novelty eyes with the logos of Superman, Batman or the Green Lantern, but he would wear them only at home around his family.”
Despite his shyness towards talking about his prosthetic, he has found an instilled courage thanks to his custom-made Chicago Cubs logo eye.
“Last November, Beckham brought his Christmas list to his mom. At the top, Beckham asked for… a new, working eye, something his parents will never be able to give him” (Chicago Tribune).
The Chicago Cubs eye was the next best thing. “The ocularist came through, and on Christmas morning, Beckham unwrapped his new eye and immediately popped it in” (Chicago Tribune).
Beckham sums up this moment simply by saying, “I didn’t know I was gonna get it. When I did I was, like, so excited.”
Though he couldn’t have a real, working eye like he first requested, the Cubs prosthetic eye created a courageous spirit that prompted him to show off his eye during show and tell. “I want to take my eye out and show my class how I do it,” he’d told his mom when talking about the kindergarten show and tell. After the fact, Beckham insisted, “I was happy!”
His story has gained lots of attention, even from big TV shows like ESPN. His story will be featured on E:60 Wednesday evening.
Retinoblastoma is a young, malignant tumor that mostly affects young children. From American Cancer Society, “During the early stages of development, the eyes have cells called retinoblasts that divide into new cells and fill the retina. At a certain point, these cells stop dividing and develop into mature retinal cells.”
If something goes wrong with this process, it can result in retinoblastoma, the cancerous disease Beckham suffered from.
Nick, Beckham’s father, remarked, “I just look at [ESPN feature] as another opportunity to share his story and share what got us through it. There might be another retino kid out there going through some hard times that can see how Beckham took control of it and turned it around” (Chicago Tribune).