Supporting Research to Save Sight

Lyn O’Niel of Boulder Creek, California, is a longtime member of the Santa Cruz community. She raised her two children there and worked for 35 years at the Santa Cruz County Public School system, where she coordinated an occupational program.

As a volunteer and former president of the Santa Cruz Archeological Society, she often used her vacation days to help at dig sites for prehistoric artifacts. Lyn also volunteered for the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office and helped with the Valley Churches United effort following the San Lorenzo River flooding crisis in 1982.

She knows the devastating impact of vision disease, as her grandmother suffered from both glaucoma and macular degeneration, in whose honor Lyn has supported National Glaucoma Research (NGR), a BrightFocus program, since 1997. Lyn said, “I have learned so much about vision research from BrightFocus and realize that they are getting closer and closer to figuring out what to do at the beginning of the disease to fix it.”

Lyn was diagnosed with preglaucoma decades ago. She has had surgery for a detached retina and is currently undergoing treatment. Lyn noted, “To lose your eyesight is a terrible thing. It is just debilitating—there are too many beautiful things that you will never get to see if you don’t take care of your eyes,” she continued. “Don’t ever give up. You will get through it and people are working to change the way the disease progresses.”

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Alzheimer's disease, macular degeneration, and glaucoma affect nearly 300 million people around the world and touch the lives of countless more. Bold research can build a brighter future for all.

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