Save Alisa's Vision Fund

My name is Alisa Valencia and I am 20 years old. On the outside I look like a normal, young lady who is ready to begin her life. Go to college, hoping to become a deputy coroner and have a great future. But, it may be taken away from me.

I have an eye disease called Keratoconus. This disease is not well known as other eye diseases are. I am one of the affected individuals in which the disease is rapidly progressing. I have lost a significant amount of vision since March 2013. My eye specialist at UC Irvine's Gavin Herbert Eye Institute told me I am at the end of moderate, beginning severe stage of the disease. Interventions such as hard lenses are no longer an option and I urgently require crosslinking treatment to stop the progression of the disease.

the treatment to strengthen my corneas and stop progression of this disease, I will continue to lose my vision and require a corneal transplant in the very near future.
No medical insurance will cover this treatment even though it is being used and proven to stop progression of this debilitating eye disease.

Please help me save my vision. All donations are greatly appreciated. More importantly, please take a moment to familiarize yourself about keratoconus and the signs/symptoms of this eye disease. Someone's vision is depending on it!


Keratoconus is a progressive and degenerative disease of the eye. It is the thinning of the cornea (front surface of the eye). As a result of this thinning, the normally round shape of the cornea is distorted and a cone-like bulge develops. The surface is also irregular. The keratoconus cornea deflects the light as it penetrates the eye, causing distorted vision and resulting in significant visual impairment.

Symptoms to Recognize
· Blurred or distorted vision
· Increased sensitivity to bright light and glare
· Problems with night vision
· Many frequent changes in eyeglass/contact prescriptions
· Inability to wear contacts (frequent ripping of lens, not sitting correctly in eye)

How Does Keratoconus Affect Vision?
· Keratoconus affects each person differently. Commonly reported visual symptoms include:
· Problems with "˜glare' (finding light painful and/or disabling - not just bright lights)
· Double vision
· Multiple images
· "˜Ghosting'
· "˜Halos' and "˜stars' around lights
· "˜Floaters' - black dots floating across vision
· Difficulty adapting to changes in light levels.

Does Keratoconus Cause Blindness?
Keratoconus does not cause total blindness. However, it can lead to significant vision impairment resulting in legal blindness if disease progresses to severe stage.

What Can You Do If You Have Any Signs/Symptoms?
Be sure to see an optometrist knowledgeable of keratoconus and the red flags of this disease so you can be properly referred to your ophthalmologist/ eye specialist for diagnosis. Early diagnosis can help prevent further damage and vision loss with proper treatment.

What is Crosslinking Treatment?
C3-R (corneal collagen cross-linking with riboflavin): Eye drops containing riboflavin (vitamin B2) are placed on the cornea, which are then activated by ultraviolet (UV) light to strengthen links between the connective tissue
(collagen) fibers within the cornea. As the disease progress contacts or eyeglasses no longer assist with vision correction, thus making crosslinking necessary to stop further progression and vision loss. Unfortunately, it is not yet covered by any medical insurance in the United States.
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Arlene Medina 
Riverside, CA
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