Not just another day…
Recently, at a family gathering, my cousin — a year younger than I — told me he had undergone cataract surgery. “What a difference this simple surgery made,” he told me.
He was having difficulty driving in the evening, reading and working. His poor vision was gradually creeping into most of his life.
It reminded me of the upcoming World Sight Day on October 13th that focuses global attention on blindness and vision impairment. I thought of the thousands, millions really, of children and families in developing countries whose lives are eroding because of growing blindness. These are people who aren’t able to afford cataract surgery, like my cousin was.
I thought of a woman I visited in Swaziland named Bessie. She is the sole caregiver of grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Because of a cataract she couldn’t care for them. She couldn’t see if their clothes were clean – or if they had them on correctly. She couldn’t read to them or make a fire to cook food on. They became a caregiver to her – causing some of them to miss school. She was unable to provide financially because she couldn’t weave mats – her sole source of income.
When she had the cataract surgery that someone like you paid for, it changed everything!
The day I visited Bessie, she was teaching two great-grandchildren how to weave mats. She had fed them, and they were wearing clean clothes. Later in the visit she sat on her homemade mat and read the Bible to her great-grandchildren.
Not only had Bessie’s life changed, her great grandchildren’s lives had changed… simply because of cataract surgery.
World Sight Day is important… not because of a day but because of what it means in the lives of people like Bessie and her family. Millions of children, moms, dads and grandparents have access to eye screening, treatment, and surgery annually. It warms my heart to think of all of these lives changed because of World Sight Day!