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"I’ll do anything I can to spread awareness." - Amanda Eddy
Amanda Eddy doesn’t know what it’s like to have normal vision. She was born with glaucoma.
When she was diagnosed at three months old, her family was living in the Middle East, her father a visiting professor at the University of Beirut. Without delay, her family rushed back to the United States, where Amanda underwent two eye surgeries. Because of this early intervention and vigilant use of drops, Amanda’s vision was stabilized. That was 35 years ago.
Glaucoma is rare in children. One in every 10,000 babies in the United States is born with the disease. However, many children aren’t as lucky as Amanda. Some never get diagnosed or their diagnosis comes too late, while others can’t afford quality care. For this reason, Amanda is passionate about our mission to educate families with children about the importance of regular eye exams. “I’ll do anything I can to spread awareness and help those who can’t get the care they need,” she says. “I feel so incredibly fortunate to have access to the leading doctors in the field my whole life.”
Amanda’s father was not as fortunate. His glaucoma wasn’t diagnosed and treated until it was too late and he lost his vision as a young child. Because of this, Amanda’s family was relieved in the fact that Amanda’s eyesight remained stable throughout her childhood.
She was able to go college, get married, and become the marketing director for a software company in Austin, Texas. But the progression of glaucoma is unpredictable. Just last year, without warning, the pressure in Amanda’s right eye suddenly changed. Her doctor immediately performed two more successful surgeries.
Now, to protect her vision, she goes in for regular checkups and uses a series of eye drops each day. “We’ve had the same type of medications for more than 20 years,” she notes. “I know. I’ve been using them. In my lifetime, I’d like to see some new treatments and procedures. I know Glaucoma Research Foundation is working toward that.”
Amanda is right. At Glaucoma Research Foundation we are committed to helping patients like Amanda preserve their vision throughout their lifetime. We continue to invest in ground-breaking research and host an annual innovation meeting in order to advance new diagnostics, treatment options, and ultimately find a cure.
Six years ago, Amanda embarked on a new passion, launching a small business selling handmade jewelry online at amandadeer.com. Customers loved her unique and delicate pieces, and today they’re found in retail shops across the country.
In January, during National Glaucoma Awareness month, Amanda gave a percentage of the proceeds from the sales of one of her favorite necklaces to support Glaucoma Research Foundation programs. “I’ll do anything I can to spread awareness and help those who can’t get the care they need. As my business grows, I’ll be able to give even more” she says.
At Glaucoma Research Foundation, we’re incredibly excited about Amanda’s success and truly inspired by her commitment to give back to support our sight-saving mission. We’re proud to have her as a partner and friend and remain committed to our important goal of finding new treatments and a cure.
Last reviewed on May 17, 2016