Clinic Blog: 2012 Cleveland Clinic Blog
October 26, 2012
Day 9 : Last dinner and pinning ceremony recap
It was a very emotional time for all at our pinning ceremony last night. This was our last dinner for us as a team and last chance to take some group pics since many of us will be departing at different times today. We went to the Hard Rock Cafe at Tower City and it was a wonderful time. Tears were flowing as many of us thanked our team leaders, other members of our team and shared our own personal stories. The end of a clinic is a bittersweet moment with mixed feelings. Even though we want to go home and see our family and friends that we miss so much, we also don’t want the clinic to come to an end either. One story that sticks out in my head is when teammate Amanda Krohn said that we are all family now. And she is right, we are!
We are all part of the OneSight family. And even those who don’t get picked for a clinic next year, you are still family. We all share a special bond that holds us together with our passions. Our passions for wanting to help people receive proper vision care and helping those obtain glasses who can’t afford them on their own.
It was very emotional for me last night so I wanted to take a moment to share my own story with you now. It came to me when Dr. Ballard was sharing the story about the little girl she had examined...
Dr. Roslyn Ballard examined a little girl yesterday who never wore glasses before. She was in a -6.00 in her one eye and -4.50 in the other. She said she had an exams before but she didn’t need them at the time. She said her grandma was an eye doctor and she would give her the exams but she had passed away this year and she was up in heaven now. And while she was telling us this story, I was thinking, was her grandma her only caretaker? Who is caring for her now and how could this be that someone missed that she needed glasses? Then I start wondering how she is doing in school? How can she see anything?
It's heartbreaking to me that we actually live in a world where children have to go without a gift that most are born with- their sight. When I think of my daily routine there's not much I can do until I put my glasses on, besides go to sleep and dream. I need them to read, use my computer at work and just to walk down the street and everything in between. One of my favorite things to do this time of year is to take walks through the parkway and look at all the trees. All the beautiful different colors as they fall to the ground. Then I wonder what it would look like without my glasses?
I graduated from Cuyahoga Community College right here in Cleveland, from the Optical Technology program and received my associate’s degree. Molly Drenen, my former instructor, helps out with this clinic every year. We were talking last week and she introduced me to one of her current students and said that I was a Tri-C alumni and I was one of her best students. Didn't really think anything of it when she said it, I did pretty good in school my whole life. But the one thing that may possibly make me different from these children is that I've always had a current pair of glasses. Now, after seeing some of these kids, it makes me wonder, would I have even graduated from high school, let alone college without my glasses?
I've worn glasses full time since I was about 7 years old, ever since my first eye exam. My parents had vision insurance and they took me to see the eye doctor every year. I had vision problems when I was younger, lazy eye and a few other problems that were pretty much corrected through glasses and a few years of vision therapy. I lack depth perception, which keeps me from wanting to drive, but it is possible for me to if I choose. Other than that I live a happy, normal life. Then I wonder, how would my life be if I didn't get that first referral from the optometrist and receive the help that I needed?
It was a big day for self-reflection and I know I wouldn't be where I am today without proper vision care. I am very appreciative to my parents for taking good care of my vision as a child because I know not every child receives the proper attention they need and deserve from their caretakers. I am also very fortunate to work for an amazing company that lets us be a huge part in restoring that gift back to these beautiful children. So thank you Luxottica and OneSight for all you've done and continue to do for us. Now instead of going to sleep and dreaming their dreams, these children will have a chance of actually fulfilling them.
Thank you team CLEVELAND, for all the memories. Thank you for all your leadership and all the new things I’ve learned from each and every one of you during these two weeks. Thank you for allowing me to be a part of this team and take the role as your media captain. I truly enjoyed writing this blog and including all your stories for everyone to share and take with them. Thank you for all our good times, Cleveland was definitely not as fun until you all arrived. I will remember my Cleveland 2012 clinic- always!!!
AMY MULLEN- Sears Optical #1362 Cleveland, OH
About the Clinic
2012 Cleveland Clinic Blog Clinic
A team of OneSight volunteers and doctors will provide free vision care and eyewear to local students in need.