When I was five-years-old, I was playing a game with my brother that caused us to throw these wooden blocks back and forth, and one of the building blocks hit my left eye; a one in a million shot that put me in a place where I was unable to do anything. The doctors and nurses had no idea what to do with a child whose eye was hemorrhaging and bleeding; that caused a tremendous amount of pain and swelling. For the next 15 years, I dealt with brutal migraine headaches, and pulsing pain.
The accident took away my own personal self-esteem, and my own personal confidence; it left me suffering. Over the course of the next 20 years, I dealt with the situation the way it was. The first surgery, when I was a teenager, didn't really improve my vision, I went from blind to 20/400 which didn't make it that much better. It had been a real tremendous, tumultuous process.
When I first visited Dr. Masket the feeling I had was hopefulness because of the way he communicated exactly what he was going to do. It was clear; it put me in a really good place where I could feel like I could trust him.
In the experience of post-surgery for my eye, I did have to wear a patch. There was that moment in removing the patch when I was wondering what that "Ah, hah!" moment was going to look like. When I removed the patch, I was able to see clearer; that clarity only grew through time. Now, I've gone from literally being blind to 20/30, which has allowed my life to be a lot more in balance, naturally.
The joy about The Foundation and being a recipient, is that you get support from Dr. Masket and the family here. What was really beautiful was, after the surgery, I made an extra effort to show up as often as I could to really be a part of the study, because the study was going to help others; it became bigger than just me. I'm really grateful that my surgery can be an example for every other kid, adult, and child out there who's looking to have better vision.
All the people on Dr. Masket's team don't see their patients as having problems; they see their patients as having potential. That potential is what gives you hope; that hope is what heals you. And that's what you're looking for.