It's hard to believe that 2016 is almost over! This year, Aravind treated nearly 4 million patients and performed more than 400,000 sight-saving surgeries. Behind those very big numbers are some very small patients -- children who suffer from retinoblastoma, an eye cancer that afflicts ages 0 to 5 years. Many of these kids come from very poor families and could not afford treatment without your help.
One of those kids is Pradin. His parents brought him to Aravind with tumors in both eyes at age three months. The doctors at Aravind advised that treatment be started immediately, including the removal of one eye. You can imagine how shocking and upsetting this news was to Pradin’s parents. Neither of them is educated; the father is a day laborer, making less than $2 a day.
They took Pradin to other doctors, hoping for a different diagnosis, but instead the eye became worse. Finally, a year later, they returned to Aravind and had the surgery. Pradin received a complete cycle of treatment – surgery, chemotherapy, counseling, and a custom-made prosthesis – all free of charge. The family was so grateful for the care and kindness they received at Aravind that two years later, they brought their baby daughter to be screened. Happily, she is cancer-free.
This year, 33 new cancer patients and 610 review patients received free treatment, thanks to generous donors like you. We have also started to pay for travel for the poorest patients, because we discovered that they were not returning to the hospital for essential follow-up visits. Since 2004, 452 children’s sight and/or lives have been saved, 5,693 patient visits have been funded, and 236 patients have received a custom-made prosthesis.
Thank you again for your generosity. There are so many worthy causes in the world, and I am personally touched that you choose to support Aravind. You truly are part of the ring of hope that surrounds our patients and their families. I hope that we can continue to count on your support, and I wish you a joyful holiday season, full of all good things.
Donna Campbell, Executive Director