Growing up, I was always the girl with the glasses too big for my face. In sports, I had very large, unstylish, RecSpecs and was (usually) affectionately known as "goggle girl." When I finally moved to wearing contacts, I wanted to have honey colored eyes, so I got pink contacts, which in theory would blend with my green eyes and give me light brown. Instead, I just had pink eyes. These were just a few of my superficial concerns.
My much larger issues revolved around the actual functioning of my eyes, which it felt like was always failing me. My vision worsened at a steady rate through my teen years and only finally stopped worsening, prescription-wise, in college. Even though I have always been an energetic person, my eyes would always quit on me first. I had serious migraines and really bad double vision. I tried everything possible - prisms in my lenses, eye patches, eye therapy, but nothing provided me long lasting results.
I met with many doctors, none of whom were comfortable recommending a more permanent solution; surgery. In 2011, my senior year in college, I was struggling beyond belief. I could no longer read articles or books - neither for class, nor pleasure. Schoolwork exhausted me physically because my eyes were overcompensating for what my brain couldn't do. The infrequent bouts of my eyes turning out became longer and longer periods of time. I found Dr. Cestari at Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary and it seemed like all my woes would go away. While the surgery wasn't a fun one for me (and I have pictures to prove it), the change was immediately noticeable. For the first time in years, I could be in control of my life, rather than my eyes.
While I will be having this surgery again in January 2020, the care provided for me by MEEI doctors and nurses have altered the last 7 years of my life tremendously. I am running the Boston Marathon with MEEI to raise money for others to have this life changing procedure and for more research to be conducted for strabismus for potentially a truly permanent solution, but also for all other eye conditions. Most people don't consider how much their day would be affected if they couldn't see or simply trying to see was exhausting. I hope that every step I run towards that 26.2 mile marker will help improve the lives of all MEEI patients and eye patients around the world. Please help me!
Mass Eye and Ear clinicians and scientists are driven by a mission to find cures for blindness, deafness and diseases of the head and neck. Each year, 300,000 people—adults and children—from 80 countries seek care at Mass. Eye and Ear and 20,000 of them undergo life-changing surgery.
Mass. Eye and Ear is home to the world's largest vision and hearing research centers, offering hope and healing to patients everywhere through discovery and innovation. As a Harvard Medical School teaching hospital, Mass. Eye and Ear trains future medical leaders in ophthalmology and otolaryngology through our highly competitive residency and fellowship programs.
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