In 2011, I was diagnosed with advanced Keratoconus in the right eye- a progressive, degenerative disease that causes the cornea to thin and form a conical shape. I was the unlucky 1 in 1000 to develop this problem. After dozens of optometrist appointments, visits to corneal specialists throughout New Jersey and Florida, I have finally enrolled to be a test subject of a phase (3) clincal study performed in Orlando. Without treatment, my cornea will eventually tear, causing me to lose my vision. At my age, a cornea transplant isn't an option. Unfortunately, this clinical trial is not FDA approved, and medical insurance will not cover the cost of the examinations or procedure because it is still in a clinical trial phase.
The procedure is called corneal collagen cross-linking, which involves exposure of the eye to ultraviolet light with a combination of riboflavin ophthalmic liquid. The procedure will hopefully reinforce the structures of my cornea and keep the disease from progressing. I will be updating my story after each visit to the doctor.
Please help me reach my fundraising goal and keep my sight. Driving, studying, reading music, using the computer, using the phone, recognizing a friend's face have all become challenges I struggle with daily. I have attached links below to images of what a person with my disease sees, along with further information.
Thank you all so much for your support
For those of you who do not know me: I'm a 20 year old student studying towards my bachelor degree in nursing at the University of Central Florida in Orlando. I was born in Brick NJ, and have lived with my family in Point Boro all my life. I'm down at school by myself, and have been trying to work through all of this on my own. My family has been very supportive, and I miss them so much. I hope to graduate, and continue my education with anesthesia school. For fun, I like to go to the beach, hang out with my friends, read, and volunteer. Thank you again for taking your time to support the cost of this procedure.
- Pamela Kelly
- Jeanette and Chuck Schlapfer
- Jennifer Yabut
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