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2-year-old battling eye cancer receives support from moms group, 7 toddlers

FISHERS, Ind. (WISH) — A 2-year-old girl in Fishers has an unlikely support team as she battles eye cancer: seven other 2-year-olds. 

Sloane Davisson is a member of the popular Instagram account “Babies Who Brunch Indy,” a mix of eight babies born within weeks of each other. Their mothers met on maternity leave and formed a quick bond. 

“[One mom] sent out an email invitation it was like, bring your babies, bring some booze, and let’s talk babies,” said Courtney Davisson, “and we got together at her house for four to five hours that day and we haven’t stopped since.” 

“Babies Who Brunch Indy” picked up popularity with a series of photos of all eight babies lined up in front of iconic Indianapolis landmarks like the Indianapolis Speedway and Children’s Museum of Indianapolis. The babies also celebrated holidays and their birthdays together. 

“It’s a really incredible group that we have,” said Amy Spillman, mother to daughter Penn. “It was very very great timing fortunately for Courtney and her family when to they ahd to be faced with Sloane’s battle this year.”

Sloane’s battle began when she was 15 months old, and doctors told her family her seemed-to-be lazy eye was actually stage IV bilateral retinoblastoma, a form of eye cancer. Sloane has since experienced six rounds of chemotherapy at Riley Hospital for Children and had her left eye removed earlier this year. 

“It was rough. We kind of knew it was coming,” said Davisson. “But she got her prosthetic eye last week. That was a very emotional thing.” 

“Babies Who Brunch” quickly turned into “Sloane’s Tribe,” switching coordinating onesies for matching purple t-shirts bearing Sloane’s name. The other mothers started problem solving right away, bringing in home-cooked meals, providing childcare for the Davissons, helping with fundraisers, and using their connections to help. 

“We put her in touch with Cookies for Kids Cancer organization and that was really impactful for them,” said Spillman, referencing Sloane’s special cookie. “When there’s a time you need to talk to somebody need to cry and it’s 2 a.m., we’re there. That’s the benefit of having seven other women at some hour of the day or night, somebody’s awake!”

“I don’t think we would have gotten through it without them,” said Davisson. “It was pretty amazing.” 

Davisson says she believes the support of Sloane’s Tribe has had a positive impact on Sloane’s health and recovery, not to mention her own mental and emotional health as she watches her daughter fight cancer. Sloane is now recovering and adjusting to her new eye. She has routine appointments but Davissons says if she stays cancer free until age 5 or 6, doctors tell her Sloane is much less likely to relapse later in life. 

The moms and toddlers still gather about once a month, says Spillman. They’re also sharing their message that a support group can do more than just support- it can heal. Spillman says whatever the Davissons have needed, they’ve been happy to do. 

“You need a tribe. You need a village. I’m getting choked up talking about it. It’s a journey and to raise kids is not for the faint of heart and when you have the support of other women,” Spillman said, “It really is an incredible experience.”