| Feb 23, 2024
Celebrating 20 Years of Hope for kids with eye cancer!
Two-year-old Mohamed at Aravind in 2004
I am writing to you from my favorite place – Aravind Eye Hospital – Madurai in Tamil Nadu, India. It was here, 20 years ago, that Dr. Usha Kim started Aravind’s Ring of Hope program to help children with retinoblastoma (eye cancer).
At that time, parents brought their children to Aravind often not knowing what was wrong. Sometimes they left, devastated by a diagnosis of cancer and overwhelmed by the cost of treatment, which usually includes surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation. If the family put off treatment, their children might lose their sight and even their lives.
This was unacceptable to Dr. Usha. Aravind believes that everyone has the right to high-quality eye care, regardless of their ability to pay – and so the Ring of Hope was born.
In 2004, the first year, Dr. Usha and her team of provided 151 patient visits free of charge to 30 patients. Fast forward to 2024 and Aravind has provided more than 15,000 patient visits to nearly 1000 children.
Every year, we celebrate our brave young patients and their families at “Survivors’ Day”. Some of them have been with us since the early days of Ring of Hope.
Mohamed was two years old when his parents brought him to Aravind. He had retinoblastoma in both eyes – one eye had to be removed, but the other responded to chemotherapy. Today, he is studying business communications at Maldives University, but he still finds time to come back and visit Dr. Usha and team!
I will be sharing more stories from our Ring of Hope program during our 20th anniversary year. If you have any questions, please reach out to me through GlobalGiving or feel free to contact me at +1 917 412 4742 or email@example.com. Please join our celebration of hope!
“Loss of Sight can be the greatest tragedy next to death. It takes away their sight, respect and decision–making authority. Our job is not just to bring them vision. How do we get them back their dignity?”
From the journals of Dr. G. Venkataswamy, founder of Aravind Eye Care System