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Cover Focus | Apr 2017

Going Places

Personal discussions of what surgeons can gain from mission eye trips and practicing in developing countries.

When you are expecting your first child, people like to tell you how much your world is about to change. How much love you will feel and how little sleep you will get. How many smiles you will share and how many struggles there will be. But no matter how many goods and bads you hear, the complexity of parenthood never really sinks in until you, yourself, are a parent.

In the moment in which I first held my daughter, it was almost like a flip inside me was switched. I instantly became more aware of the power of compassion and the fragility of life. Now I can no longer watch a sappy commercial without tearing up or turn my head blindly away from the older gentleman having trouble crossing the street. Likewise, my heart sinks when I hear of the horrific events happening around us, such as what is going on in Syria.

Given my mommyhood-sized sense of compasion, our cover focus this month especially hit home. The efforts and the lengths to which our contributors have gone to help fight world blindness are no short of heroic. Their dedication to this fight is admirable. In the following pages, each contributor shares a story unique to his or her objective to fight world blindness. Some have gone on mission eye trips, some have started not-for-profit eye care institutions, and some have dedicated their lives to research or epidemiology. All, however, have made a huge impact on world blindness and should be commended for their good work.

DO YOUR PART

If the personal encounters shared by our contributors have inspired you, consider supporting one of the many organizations and initiatives dedicated to combatting world blindness. To get you started, on the following page is a short, by no means exhaustive list of worthy organizations, some of which are mentioned in the articles throughout this series.

Christoffel Blindenmission (CBM)
http://www.cbm.org

Essilor Vision Foundation
http://www.essilorvisionfoundation.org

Global Sight Alliance
http://www.globalsight.org

Himalayan Cataract Project
www.cureblindness.org

International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness
https://www.iapb.org

Optometry Giving Sight
http://www.givingsight.org

Orbis
www.orbis.org

Organization for the Prevention of Blindness
http://www.opc.asso.fr/?lang=en

Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust
www.jubileetribute.org

SEE International
https://www.seeintl.org

Sight Aid International
www.sightaidinternational.org

Sightsavers International
https://www.sightsavers.org

USAID Child Blindness Program
https://www.usaid.gov/childblindness

Vision Aid Overseas
www.visionaidoverseas.org

Visionshare
www.visionshare.org

Volunteer Optometric Services to Humanity
http://vosh.org

—Laura Straub, Editor-in-Chief

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