The Gift of Sight
Organized by: Arlevia DeLoach
Greetings family and friends!!! As you all are aware, I have been missing in action (MIA) from social media for quite some time. Well, would like to share with you all the reasons why and the struggles that I've been facing with my vision for the last 10-12 years. In June 2006, I was diagnosed with a degenerative eye disease called Keratocnus. Keratoconus is an eye disease that causes a condition in which the clear tissue on the front of the eye (Cornea) bulges and thins outward causing severely distorted vision over the course of the disease. In lay-men's terms, Keratoconus is a debilitating eye disease that causes a person's cornea to become progressively disfigured to the point to where the person feels like he/she is going blind. Well, I have Keratoconus in both of my eyes. I had been going back and forth with a private eye doctor from 2008-2010 until she was unable to find corrective contact lenses that would improve my vision enough to be legal. Then, she referred me to formerly the Medical College of GA ( MCG) now GA Regents University, and I dealt with the same thing of going back and fourth from 2010 to 2014 with experimenting on finding corrective contact lenses until I moved to Stone Mountain, GA. I began going to Emory Eye Center's Corneologists in November 2015, and the doctor immediately recognized that my vision in my left eye was damaged to the point where they were unable to find a corrective contact lens to improve my vision to be legal. By this point, I literally felt like I was going blind. So the doctor highly recommended that I receive a Corneal Transplant for my left eye because I had exhausted all means of corrective contact lenses and the eye was too far gone for me to receive the alternative Cross-Linking procedure that would have stopped the progression of the disease . After battling back and fourth digesting this information and getting over the aspect of having another person's tissues inside of my eye and after much research and prayer, I was led by prayer and direction from God to go through with the Corneal Transplant in February. The surgery was a success beyond my expectations. But I will still have to wear a corrective contact lens forever. And there's still the problem of Keratoconus in my right eye as well. My right eye has been carrying the weight of my vision for a long time, and it is still in the condition that I will be able to have the Cross-linking procedure done. But before that can be done, my left eye has to heal. However, my vision in the right eye has changed t the point of me needing a special corrective contact lenses called Scleral lens. This is the same type of contact lens that I will need as soon as I have fully healed from my Corneal transplant. Scleral lenses usually last approximately as long as 2-5 years. However, they are expensive, and are not covered by insurance (even with the medical necessity). There are only 2 providers in the state of GA who are authorized to do the fitting for the Scleral Lenses, and due to them knowing that insurance companies do not pay for the Scleral Lenses and other special lenses take a while to be covered, they don't even accept insurance. So, I have to pay a total of $3,500.00 out of pocket for a pair the lenses. I am petitioning for the assistance of my family and friends for donations to assist me with covering the cost. Any donations that you are able to bless me with will be greatly appreciated, and will go towards an amazing cause, the gift of restoration of my sight. Thank you all in advance for even considering to give a donation.