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Sarah Franklin: Breaking Stereotypes about Glaucoma

Sarah was diagnosed with glaucoma when she was 12 years old, during a routine eye exam.

Today her goal is to spread awareness about glaucoma and break the stereotypes: "I have no family history and I was diagnosed when I was 12, so I just want to let everybody know that it can happen to anybody, and I’m a prime example."

Video Transcript

Sarah Franklin: I was diagnosed with glaucoma ten years ago, so I was 12 years old, and it was just during a routine eye exam. They took my pressure and it was almost 40, it was in the 40s. I had two ways of responding: I could either be angry about it or I could try to do something proactive about it since I had it at a young age, so I’ve kind of decided to be proactive. And now my goal is to spread awareness about glaucoma and break the stereotypes. I have no family history and I was diagnosed when I was 12 so I just want to let everybody know that it can happen to anybody and I’m a prime example.

Ultimately, I would love to go into the field of academic optometry, which consists of education and has a research component. So I would love to combine my two passions and spread awareness about glaucoma and also research as well.

I think it’s a very important disease in the sense that it’s the second leading cause of blindness and it affects so many people, in various age groups and not only just the elderly but you can either be born with or have juvenile glaucoma, which is what I have. It can happen to anybody and it’s a disease where you have to maintain it and you need to take precautions before it does damage but once you have damage, it’s irreversible. So research is necessary to either prevent it, maintain it, or to completely cure the disease.

A lot of people don’t want to go blind, that’s their worst fear, so if there’s research that’s able to prevent that from happening and will actually help the person’s quality of life, it would be great.

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The following photos are used under a Creative Commons License: “Bush Street” by Thomas Hawk, “Untitled” by Stefan Georgi, and “Fantagraphics Girl #2” by Jonas Seaman.

Last reviewed on January 16, 2018

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