When Aaliyah walks in to a room, actually it is typically a run, followed by high pitched sqeal of excitement, the first thing many people notice are her gorgeous, ocean-blue eyes. They are pretty hard to miss. Her eyes are outlined with these impossibly long eyelashes and when she smiles, her eyes seem to smile right along with her. Lately though, those very same eyes that are a prominent feature on her barely three foot tall body, are the one thing that causes her pain. When Aaliyah was born we noticed that her eyes were continually filled with pus and usually swollen shut every time she would wake up. She was around 3 weeks old when her pediatrician told us that she was suffering from clogged tear ducts (Nasolacrimal Duct Obstruction) which is a very common thing for a newborn baby, and that 97% of baby's tear ducts gradually open by the time they reach 1 year of age. We were hopeful. Over the next year we did everything we possibly could to "help" her tear ducts open on their own, but nothing was helping. By the time she reached her first birthday her eyes seemed to be getting worse. We went to the doctor yet again, and were told that it is likely she would need to have surgery to correct the problem, but they wanted us to try one more round of antibiotics and yet another cream. At this point she was already on her 6th dose of antibiotics, countless medicated drops and creams and hours spent massaging her tear ducts as she screamed for us to stop, Yet we were hopeful that this would be the answer. In November of 2014 when Aaliyah was 17 months old we found ourselves in the doctor's office once again with Aaliyah's eyes barely able to open. Her pediatrician told us that they had done all they could in their office and she would need to be referred to a specialist at Doernbecher Children's Hospital for surgery. The surgery will involve thin rods being slipped into her tear ducts and pushed through the blockage. Unfortunately when we contacted Aaliyah's insurance and the Casey Eye Institute we were told that this is a surgery that is not covered by her insurance. This is a $15,000 surgery and that doesn't not include transportation costs, time off work, or the additional specialist appointments. Please consider donating to Aaliyah as we have no other way to pay for this surgery that she desperately needs to improve her quality of life.