You have no idea how many people are thankful that you exist.
Just this year, you helped provide nine cycles of chemotherapy for six-month old Fathima to cure her eye cancer. When she arrived at Aravind, we discovered that she had cardiac problems, so she was transferred to the ICU at Meenakshi Mission Hospital to complete her treatment. Then, there was 11-month old Aryan from Chittoor, whose father works as a day laborer in an aluminum fabrication company. You helped with the costs of Aryan's surgeries and follow-up chemo. Also, Chinnamaruthu, aged two, who has Tetraology of Fallot, a rare congenital heart disease. He had to be examined under anesthesia with all the necessary medical support systems. These three children and many more children and adults received care completely free of cost, thanks to you!
So far, in 2022, you have helped 38 new patients with eye cancer, provided 8766 follow visits, and given genetic testing to 81 people,
You haven't met any of these people, yet you've made a huge impact on their lives. So, during this season of giving thanks, we are very, very thankful for you.
Without you, many people would lose their sight for no good reason. Thank you for helping us to eliminate needless blindness and to fulfill the mission of our founder, Dr. Venkataswamy.
This may be my favorite quotation from the American writer Alice Walker – the full text is, “Thank you is the best prayer that anyone could say. I say that one a lot. Thank you expresses extreme gratitude, humility, understanding.”
As I write to you, I am definitely feeling gratitude and humility, but I wonder if I fully understand. There are so many worthy organizations that you could support. Why did you choose Aravind?
I am so happy that you did. I promise you that your gift changed lives – not just the person who needed surgery or medicines to prevent blindness. Treatment is expensive and puts a huge financial burden on a family. Caring for a blind parent or grandparent can mean that children aren’t able to attend school or a spouse can’t work. When you give the gift of sight, you give it to all.
I want to share a couple of patient stories with you. Perumal, 48 years old, from Ramanathapuram, is a parotta master in a hotel, making the crispy multi-layered bread that is well-loved in South India. He is the main “bread” earner in his family and has three children. Rani is a 45-year-old housewife from Kanyakumari. She has two children and is the bedrock of her family. Both Perumal and Rani were diagnosed with lymphoma of the eye and treated successfully at the Aravind Eye Hospital in Madurai. Now, they can go back to their lives and to caring for their families.
This year, we are on track to treat more than 200 patients for eye cancer and provide genetic testing for 74 patients. We are starting new programs to support patients with corneal ulcers and ocular injuries. Completely free of cost, thanks to you.
So, my prayer for you is a thank you. If I understand correctly, you chose us because you want your gift to change lives. I can assure you that it does. If you would like to know more about how you are making a difference, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me on (917) 412 4742. I would love to hear from you.
With gratitude, humility, understanding and a nod to the great Alice Walker,
Donna Campbell, Executive Director
Aravind Eye Foundation
"Intelligence and Capability are not enough. There must be the joy of doing something beautiful."
- Dr. G. Venkataswamy, founder of Aravind Eye Care Systems
The 10th World Happiness Report* came out this month with some unexpected good news – people became more caring during the pandemic. Turns out, instead of hunkering down, we were reaching out to others.
Personally, I’m not surprised, because I’ve seen that kindness firsthand at Aravind. During the last two years, we've experienced overwhelming generosity from old and new friends. Over and over, our employees have gone above and beyond their duty to help and heal our patients.
Patients like four-year-old Jyothi from Salem, Tamil Nadu. For many kids, the first sign of eye cancer is crossed eyes. Jyothi’s parents noticed this symptom in both eyes when she was nine months old. The family was referred to Aravind because cancer treatment is so expensive. Jyothi’s father works in marketing and her mother is a housewife, and they struggled financially during the pandemic. Her left eye had to be removed and replaced with a prosthesis, but Aravind was able to treat her right eye with chemotherapy. Today, her vision is stable and she is cancer-free.
I’m sure you’re not surprised that helping leads to happiness since you are part of the GlobalGiving family. To raise your spirits, there is nothing quite like the joy of a parent who’s heard that we’ve been able to save their child’s sight and that the cost of treatment will be: $0.
Perhaps more than ever, the words of our founder Dr. Venkataswamy remind us of what’s important in life: "It is ourselves we are helping. It is ourselves we are healing."
With gratitude and happiness,
Donna Campbell, Executive Director
*The World Happiness Report is a publication of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network of the United Nations, powered by Gallup World Poll data.
Perhaps 2021 should have come with a warning: "Turbulence expected. Please fasten your seatbelt." It has been a year of ups and downs, with both triumphs and tragedies for many, and Aravind was no exception.
But with your help, we did it! We adapted to meet the needs of our times and, most importantly, of our patients.
One of those patients was Sara. She and her family come from Tenkasi, a village of about 70,000 in Tamil Nadu, known for the Coutallan Waterfalls and the beautiful Kari Viswanathar Temple. She was three months old when she was diagnosed with cancer in her right eye.
This is devastating news for any parent, but especially if you can't afford treatment. Sara's parents are farmers with three other children at home. Fortunately, Aravind has generous friends like you, who paid for Sara's chemotherapy, and now she is completely recovered.
This year, Aravind treated 40 new patients with eye cancer and provided 1291 free patient visits, as part of our Ring of Hope program. We have started using a new intra-arterial chemo threatment that's been available in the west for 10-15 years, and produces better results with fewer side effects.
Since the founding of the Ring of Hope program, you've helped us provide nearly 12,000 patient visits and sightsaving care for 800 plus patients, completely free of cost.
Thank you wholeheartedly from all of us at Aravind for your generosity1. We wish you a happy holiday season and pray for the continued health and safety of you and your loved ones.
Donna Campbell, Executive Director, Aravind Eye Foundation
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