Ganesh, a patient at Aravind Eye Hospital-Madurai
This is probably my favorite time of the year -- and I'm not talking about the holidays. In December, my colleagues in India send me a report summarizing all the amazing work they've done during the year -- thanks to your generosity.
It's always impressive. Just one example -- your donations last year helped treat nearly 700 children with eye cancer -- surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, prosthetics, family counselling, travel costs, and genetic testing to determine whether future siblings or offspring need to be worried about developing the disease. Since we started our program, you have helped fund 6525 patient visits. Amazing!
But as you know, numbers don't tell the whole story. They don't describe the courage of a child undergoing chemotherapy. They don't express a mother's joy at hearing that her daughter's cancer is gone. Behind each number is a person -- someone like three-year-old Ganesh, who has a mischievous smile and a personality to go with it. His family comes from a small town in the Chettinad area of Tamil Nadu, where his father is the priest of a local temple.
Ganesh came to our hospital at the urging of a family friend who knew one of the Aravind doctors. He received treatment completely free of cost (again thanks to you!). Ganesh was fitted with a custom-made prosthetic eye, which will be replaced as he grows, and our doctors will monitor his progress (also free of cost) to be sure the cancer does not return.
Thank you for believing in our mission and trusting us to use your donation wisely. We would love to hear from you -- contact me at email@example.com if you have any questions about our work, would like to know more, or are planning a trip to Tamil Nadu -- yes, I really mean it! Come visit! Or if you can't visit us in person, join us on facebook (AravindEyeFoundation) or twitter (@aravindeye).
Wishing you a joyful holiday season!
Donna Campbell, Executive Director