48%
$14,255
of $30,000 Raised
191
Donors
1
People can now see thanks to your generosity
Fundraiser
Dr Mary
link /drmary

Paying it Forward!

Let’s keep the momentum going and help me give the gift of sight to someone else!

 

In 1997 while I was a fourth-year medical student, I was diagnosed with bilateral optic neuritis when I had dizziness, double vision and eye pain. Throughout my residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology, I had recurring episodes, and each subsequent episode led to further deterioration of my vision.

My loss of depth perception, ongoing blurred vision and areas of visual field loss finally led me to the decision to let go of my dream of being a doctor for the safety of my patients.

I have been legally blind since 2003 and experienced several years in which I completely lost my sight. I went to the North Carolina Vocational School for the Blind, where I learned Braille, assistive technology and independent daily living skills.

I also obtained a dog from Leader Dogs for the Blind. Lucy is my second dog, and we have been together for over 8 years. I would not be as mobile, confident or free to enjoy the life I do have without her.

Not practicing medicine was devastating and completely changed the future I had seen for myself —my whole life was completely turned upside-down. Every day challenges me to grow on some level I never knew existed.

My vision loss prevents me from reading print and seeing the details of faces, including my own. I can’t see my toothbrush to apply toothpaste, the colors of my clothes or the beauty of my rose bushes. Remote controls, keys on the piano and pencil sketches have eluded me for years.

Every time I travel, someone must describe the view to me. Can you imagine not being able to see the vibrant fall colors in the mountains of Western North Carolina, the breaching of humpback whales in Alaska, the blue waters of the Caribbean or the redwood forests of California?

In April 2018, I finally found the courage to try on a pair of eSight electronic glasses at the NC Lions MD 31 State Convention. The glasses house a high-speed, high-definition camera that captures everything you’re looking at and shows it on two, near-to-your-eye displays. Medical algorithms enhance the footage so you can see in real-time. These glasses restored some of my remaining residual vision.

There are no words to describe how I felt when I saw the face of my beloved family and friends and the beautiful, soulful eyes of Lucy for the first time! My heart has been flowing over since that moment, and my mind has been exploding with the potential the future holds.

With my eSight glasses, I will be able to see the faces of my family, including nieces and nephews whom I have never seen. I can explore the world and take in the beauty of my surroundings with my own eyes. More than that, I can go back to work in the medical field.

I’m not sure what that job will look like. It might be teaching nursing students or medical students, providing patient education or even looking into the long road back to practicing medicine. But I now feel empowered to step back into my lifelong dream of providing patients with the best access and medical care available.

To make my dreams a reality, I need your help! These glasses cost $10,000, plus additional funds for add-ons like sunglasses (necessary due to my light sensitivity), extra batteries, replacement remotes and much more. I have reached this goal thanks to family, friends and individuals from around the world who have donated.

My goal is not to stop with the funds I need — I want to make these glasses a reality for other children and adults. I have set up an arrangement with eSight that any additional funds I raise will be paid forward so a committe of myself and NC Lions can grant theis gift of sight to others.

Please help me grant the gift of sight to someone else whether you can give $1 or $1,000! And please forward this link to three friends and ask them to forward it to three more.

Thank you for any support you’re able to offer! You can share in the moment I saw and Lucy by watching the video below.  Please go to the Donate button on the top bar to help get me one step closer to regaining my sight.  

 

 


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