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“Through the Eyes of the Beholder” Raises $50,000 for CURE GLAUCOMA

2014_Glaucoma_0099The first annual Cure Glaucoma Art Benefit: “Through the Eyes of the Beholder” brought together more than 120 of our supporters in the fight against glaucoma, the world’s leading cause of preventable blindness in adults and children. Dr. Tosin Smith, glaucoma specialist at Glaucoma Associates of Texas, and one of the founders of Cure Glaucoma welcomed guests and described the event as a celebration of the gift of sight, and the official launch of Cure Glaucoma. Dr. Smith said: “With Cure Glaucoma we are providing the chance to change sight – to change lives in patients with glaucoma, so that regardless of means, patients that live right here in Dallas, and people that live in remote villages in Africa can have the best chance to keep sight.”

Cure Glaucoma’s mission is to stop preventable blindness from glaucoma by funding innovative research that will transform glaucoma care; by giving financial assistance to patients at risk of delaying care because of cost, and by supporting international mission work to equip and train doctors in underserved parts of the world. This mission was portrayed in a video produced and generously donated by Bob Kaplitz, through which guests met members of the dedicated Cure Glaucoma team and heard poignant stories of their patients.

2014_Glaucoma_0132We also honored three people from the local community who shared their personal journeys with glaucoma, Mirza said: “Painting is my passion and my livelihood. Glaucoma threatened to take this gift away from me. Thanks to the treatment and quality of care I received from Dr Smith and the whole team at GAT, I can see the world in vivid color! I am here tonight because, for me, this changed everything.” In sharing his story, David Rahimi described many failed attempts to control his eye pressure, his bloodshot red eyes and eye pressures that exceeded 5 times the normal value. He said: “I stand here today because hope was fulfilled… hope that my vision could be saved for endless years to come.” Chad Elledge’s story began at birth: “Since birth I have had 20 procedures to try and control my eye pressures. Last year I had to have my right eye removed due to the damage caused by glaucoma. Even with all this I am an extremely fortunate guy. I have had three very special doctors that have lovingly looked after my eyes and me over the years: Dr. Phelps, Dr. Starita, and Dr. Smith. Finding three doctors of this caliber is just not happenstance. I thank them all. This is why I have to share my story and help Cure Glaucoma.”

Glaucoma Associates of Texas hosted the event, held at the Fashion Industry Gallery on November 21, 2014. Guests enjoyed delicious hors d’oeuvres, cocktails and entertainment by pianist William Simpkin and Country and Western duo, Miss Devon and The Outlaw. The galleries displayed over 100 original works of art that were auctioned through a live and silent auction. Cure Glaucoma Founder, Dr. Ron Fellman, in his closing remarks said: “Cure Glaucoma is about pushing for new advancements. The pieces are in place to transform glaucoma care in a way that’s never been possible before. One person will not cure glaucoma. But, together we can! With thanks to this community that came out to support us, Cure Glaucoma is poised to get off the ground. We would like to thank everyone who donated and supported our efforts.”