Back in 1984, I had a life changing experience during one of my visits to India. Traveling to perform a complex retinal surgery, I witnessed a waiting room filled with patients awaiting cataract surgeries. Upon leaving my operating theater (3 hours later) I realized that in the time it had taken me to perform one surgery, which only returned partial sight, all those patients in the waiting room had their sight entirely restored through simple cataract surgeries, and I thought, “This is how we can truly help the world”.
With my head spinning, unable to think about anything but ways to help the world’s blind population, I flew back to the United States determined to do something. Sharing my vision with friends, colleagues, and any other like-minded souls who would listen, Combat Blindness [International] was born and we began organizing our efforts to end avoidable blindness around the world.
Over the last 36 years we have evolved, but that core idea of giving back by giving sight is still here, and as strong as ever. I have been honored to be surrounded by so many like-minded, kind-hearted people. I count you all as a part of our family in the communal goal to end avoidable blindness in the developing world.
In 2016, CBI is excited to continue expanding the fight against avoidable blindness. We are accomplishing this by increasing access to equitable eye care in developing countries by working with Peek Vision on innovative ways to screen patients, building eye centers with the capacity to provide thousands of cataract surgeries, screening thousands of children, and by training young women to become desperately needed eye care personnel. With your help, we can strengthen this fight and provide sight to thousands more. I would like to invite you to join us.
Thank you all for your many years of support.