A vision beyond sight

Thursday, August 25, 2011 - 07:34

Imagine you bring your child to a routine eye appointment and the doctor turns to you and says there is a problem with your child’s eyesight. Not just any problem; they are going blind. Many of us can only imagine this scenario, but many more parents live it. We may not know these families, but they’re in our community. They are our neighbors, coworkers, teachers, and friends. Across Alaska, and the world, children, adults and seniors are battling preventable vision impairments and diseases.

In 1925, Helen Keller reached out to the Lions to become “knights of the blind in the crusade against darkness.” In addition to many other community support missions, Lions have answered the challenge with proactive measures to identify people with preventable vision impairments and correctable diseases. Lions throughout our community bring their mobile vision screening to schools, daycare facilities and community gatherings in the hopes of early detection and correction of treatable vision impairments, many of which can be corrected if caught by age 7.

Though our mission is to eliminate preventable blindness, our vision goes far beyond sight. Our vision is to have our community become proactive. Bring your kids and grandkids to get screened early, and encourage your neighbors to do the same. You could help prevent a lifetime of blindness. We encourage all attending the Alaska State Fair to stop by the Lions Mobile Vision Screening and get the ones you love screened — for free. And, thanks to the Chugiak Lions, every child will walk away with a box of cookies. In addition to eye screening, we also recycle eye glasses. Your old glasses may not be of any use to you anymore, but they can restore clear sight to someone else.

In addition to your three local Lions Clubs (the Sleeping Lady Lions, Eagle River Lions, and Chugiak Lions) the Mt. View, Big Lake, Wasilla, Palmer, Benton Bay, and Spenard Lions, as well as the Knights of the Blind, will all assist in the State Fair vision screening. We look forward to seeing you all there and hope you have a fun and safe time at the fair!

For more information on Lions, visit www.lionsclubs.org, or call Lion Amy at 301-9179.

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