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My Glaucoma Story: Finding the Path from Patient to Vision Advocate

“People think glaucoma is an ‘old person’s disease’ you can’t do anything about. I’m proof that isn’t true. Thanks to the Foundation, there is help, and there is hope.”

-Trinh Green

Trinh Green has faced many vision challenges in her life. But that hasn’t discouraged her. Instead, it’s inspired Trinh to become a vision advocate.

Trinh was in high school when she noticed she couldn’t see out of her right eye. The diagnosis was inflammatory eye disease. Thanks to treatment, Trinh began college with her vision restored, and she set her sights on becoming a doctor. But just before medical school, Trinh received a glaucoma diagnosis, and the warning that she could go blind by age 50. “I was scared,” Trinh says. “I was young, and I knew this was going to affect my future.”

Trinh persevered with treatment for glaucoma. But at age 28, she was heading into a critical eye surgery when she discovered she was pregnant with her first child. This new reality made surgery more risky and, because she knew glaucoma can be hereditary, prompted Trinh to think of the future in a different way.

How did Trinh carry on? She faced her fears. She learned everything she could about glaucoma. And she found doctors she could partner with. Today, after years of eye drops, laser treatments, device implants, a corneal graft, even treatment to eliminate a tumor that threatened one eye, Trinh has a gratifying family practice with Asian Health Services, working with underserved immigrant patients. She also parents three active kids. And she does it all with 20/20 central vision.

Trinh’s experience with glaucoma has empowered her to help others. After learning about Gleams, she became actively involved with Glaucoma Research Foundation. In 2005, she made her first philanthropic gift to GRF, investing in the search for a cure that could serve her children, if they face glaucoma. In March 2019, she attended the first annual Glaucoma Patient Summit, connecting with fellow patients and with vital resources.

“Glaucoma affects many people who don’t know they have the disease,” says Trinh. “For those who don’t get treated, it can be devastating. When you support GRF, you change lives by providing access to education. You enable people to retain vision and live full lives,” Trinh says, “even with glaucoma.”

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Last reviewed on April 20, 2020

This article appeared in the January 2020 issue of Gleams.


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