In 1999, I was inspired to play a role in preventing and treating world blindness, by joining the Gift of Sight Program. For me, this was a small contribution to what is a silent global crisis, 150 million strong. For many people, clear eyesight is a luxury, not a necessity. That is what I experienced during my medical mission to Bolivia in 1999 and Morocco in 2001 where our group examined and treated over 1,000 patients a day, over 2 weeks. The Gift of Sight Program, now Onesight®, provides eyecare to tens of thousands of people throughout the country and the world. Contributions are from volunteer eye doctors, technicians, and Lion’s Club members around the globe.
The experiences were eye opening, and, at times, emotionally touching. Some walking, some wheeled in and yet others carried in on make-shift rugs, hundreds lined up every morning for their opportunity to see the world as god intended. Experiences such as these have a humility-producing effect on any human being, and I can say that I have grown both emotionally and spiritually from it. These overseas missions have taught me to appreciate the richness of life and a new appreciation for humanity.