The Visionary - Spring 2015 - page 6

6 |Lions Eye Institute Newsletter
ou helped these
Ugandan children see a better life.
here are an estimated 285 million people in the world
who are blind or visually impaired, of which, 90% of
them live in low-and middle-
income countries according to
the World Health Organization.
he numbers are staggering.
That’s why the LionsEye Institute
and the surgeons with which we
partner view the restoration of sight
as a global initiative. Our mission, to
improve visual outcomes and quality of
life for those who are blind or visually
impaired through innovative ocular
endeavors, is one that transcends
borders and unites us in the fight
against blindness worldwide and
brings hope to those who have lost it.
Last fall, the Lions Eye Institute had the distinct privilege
to work with Roberto Pineda II, MD, a world renowned corneal
surgeon at Mass Eye &Ear Infirmary and anAssociate Professor
in Ophthalmology at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Pineda
was traveling to Uganda on behalf of The Massachusetts Eye
and Ear Infirmary’s Office of Global Surgery and Health, a
Harvard-affiliated non-governmental organization (NGO) to
help two young patients at Mbarara University of Science &
Technology (MUST).
In a country
where visual
impairments are
often neglected, the
opportunity to receive
an education for children
with this type of disability
is rare. So, Dr. Pineda’s visit
was not only sight-saving,
but life-altering for Nankunda,
a 16 year old girl, and Raphael,
a 13 year old boy. Both patients
were blind from a corneal related disease
and both were excellent candidates to
have their sight restored. In need of corneas for his mission,
Dr. Pineda reached out to the Lions Eye Institute for assistance.
The staff jumped into action realizing the impact the transplants
would have on these children. They quickly identified suitable
donors for the tissue and coordinated with Dr. Pineda so he
could have the corneas before his long journey. And, as part
of our commitment to ensure that everyone receives the gift of
sight regardless of their ability to pay, the Lions Eye Institute’s
Foundation happily funded the cornea tissue.
We are extremely thrilled to report the surgeries for
Nankunda and Raphael were a success! Their vision has
improved and is getting better with each passing day. This
life-changing procedure has the potential to pave the way for
social and economic opportunities never thought possible
for these children. All thanks to the skill and commitment of
Dr. Roberto Pineda.
Dr. Roberto Pineda
Nankunda and Raphael
thank you!
AGlobal Perspective
magine what it must be like to walk
in a busy city blindfolded? How
would you feel as you stepped off the curb
to cross a well-traveled intersection? What
would happen if you became turned around
and were lost?
Through the generosity of people
like you, the Lions Eye Institute Foundation is
able to support programs in our community
that enrich the lives of children
who are blind and visually
impaired. One such initiative is
the Florida Regional CaneQuest.
Last November, twenty
four students from across the
state participated in this national
annual event created by the
Braille Institute of America.
Because of the many roosters
and hens that roam freely throughout
Ybor City, this year’s theme for our region
was "Why did the chicken cross the road?
To get to Cane Quest of course!”
With the goal of becoming confident
travelers, children with sight loss in grades
3 – 12 are tested on their white cane skills
for traveling independently and safely while
solving problems they encounter along the
You help
1,2,3,4,5 7,8,9,10,11,12
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