Help SAVE Adrienne's Vision

Hello everyone, my name is Adrienne. I am legally blind due to Congenital Cataracts caused by Rubella at birth.

Though I have been visually impaired all of my life I have made a life which has been so far, very rewarding. I would very much like to keep the partial usable vision I have for the rest of my life if possible.

My vision has been decreasing gradually now for the last 1 to 2 year so I got tested by several specialists which all concluded the following: I have a condition called Retinitis Pigmentosa.

In the last few weeks I have been facing a very difficult set of events which have forced me to make a radical decision.

Due to the fact that I have been diagnosed with ‘RP’ Retinitis Pigmentosa I have had to find a way to stop the progress of this eye disease since there is no cure yet known for it.

The surgery, however, is not available in Canada so I had to look at other countries.

I have found a Clinic in Cuba which has been doing the surgery for a while with a great deal of success and want to go ahead and get the surgery to keep the usable vision I have left in order to retain the quality of life I now enjoy.

If I do not get this surgery the prognosis is total blindness as early as within the next 12 months.

My vision is currently decreasing and time is of the essence because I am given no more than a year before all my vision has gone.

I am unable to cover the cost of the surgery on my own since I am living on a limited budget of a disability pension from CPP.

My husband is working but not making enough to enable us to pay for the entire cost of the procedure on our own.

It is very hard for me to sit down and ask you for financial help because I have always taken things on myself. But this is different.

I know this request is a large one but when it comes to becoming totally blind no request seems to be too large to me.

What will your donations cover?
The surgery will cost me around $17,000.00 to $18,000.00. This will cover the cost of the travel, surgery, treatments, medical care, room & board, for 3 weeks and translator.

I am providing information on the Clinic I am planning to visit to get the surgery and treatment so that you can see this great advancement in eye care that we do not yet have access to here in Canada

My grateful thanks and assurance to you all who gave, that I am extremely appreciative. They will be the best gifts I could ever hope to get “MY VISION SAVED”

Adrienne LeClair-Hamm

Clinic information & Description of Surgery & Treatment Feel free to visit their web site.

Description of the condition :
Retinitis Pigmentosa

Retinitis Pigmentosa is a genetic disease that causes a slow deterioration of the vision which ultimately leads to blindness.

This disease is far more prevalent in southern countries but afflicts many Canadians as well. Currently thousands of Canadians suffer from this degenerative disease. Unfortunately the medical community in North America believes that there is little or nothing that can be done to treat Retinitis Pigmentosa.

Neverteheless, this treatment has proven its effectiveness throughout the world. Thousands of people from all over the world, Italians, Germans, Russians, Argentineans, Venezuelans, (35 countries at last count,) have benefited from these treatment methods that are currently being practiced almost exclusively in Cuba. These clinics in Cuba may in fact be the only hope for people suffering from this disease to arrest the progression of the disease and to avoid becoming blind.

Notes from Dr. Alberto Jesús Barrientos Castaño, specialist in retinitis pigmentosa

The objective of the treatment for Retinitis Pigmentosa which is done in Cuba is to stop or control the progression of the disease. It offers an effective alternative to improve the quality of life for those who suffer from this disease.

In Cuba, the treatment is based on the vascularisation of the eye. This treatment is not based on genetic engineering as the research in genetics does not yet offer effective solutions.

The treatment is actually done on the eye itself. According to Cuban physicians there is still much research that must be done before we will be able to correct the genetic mutation that causes Retinitis Pigmentosa.

There are more than 30 different genes which cause the disease and each has several possible mutations which makes the research much more complicated.

This is why the Cuban specialists focus on the vascularisation of the eye for more than 20 years. This approach is to encourage the development of the blood vessels which bring blood, oxygen and nutrients to the eye.

Research around the world began with cellular grafting in the eye. In Russia, surgeons grafted stem-cells but these cells were not able to regenerate as they lacked vascular supply. There was also the approach of cellular remodeling, but this also was not effective.

Finally, Cuba was able to offer an exclusive and effective threefold treatment for those who suffer from Retinitis Pigmentosa.

The complete treatment includes a three-part approach:
1- There is a micro-surgery which is unique in the world. This technique was developed by the Prof. Dr. Orfilio Peláez Molina. This was the most important discovery regarding this disease. This surgical procedure is called Surgical Revitalization (Chirurgie Revitalizadora :CRV).
This method of surgery is considered to be extremely delicate and ophthalmologists and retinologists of the entire world refer their patients to Cuba.

The surgery involves grafting a piece of living fatty tissue onto the back of the retina which stimulates blood vessel growth. By doing this, the cells that are still alive in the Retina are nourished and encouraged to grow. This is why it is essential that there remain still enough living cells in the eye to be able to benefit from the treatment.

2. The Cuban Centre for Research on Ozone has established a protocol to permit patients to benefit from “Ozonotherapy”. The results of this research has been corroborated by international studies. The ozone is not administered directly into the eye. The treatment is administered either by intravenous injection or by anal suppository. It promotes the development of blood circulation to the retina. The patient receives 14 treatments during the stay in Cuba.

3 The use of “Electro-stimulation” has been demonstrated to be very effective. The images perceived by the eye are transformed into electric impulses to be received by the brain. The treatment of electro-stimulation helps to reinforce this process.
Source : Dr. Alberto Jesús Barrientos Castaño, specialiste in Retinitis Pigmentosa
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Adrienne LeClair-Hamm 
Dartmouth, NS

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