Hope for Restoring Vision

Dear Friends, Family and Those around the world that I may not have met, but who took the time to read my appeal for help,

 I would like to share with you my life story in hopes of receiving your prayers and support. Hopefully my story may bring forth blessing both in the physical and spiritual realms.

My name is Shahin Moslehi, I am a 32 year old naturopathic doctor, father of an amazing 3 year old boy. I live and work in the Northwest Territories in Canada. I appeal for your support because I am going blind.

I have lived with low vision since the age of 12, but even before suffered from night blindness. I was only 12 when I got the diagnosis that I had an incurable genetic condition called Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP) which causes a steady and irreversible decline in eyesight and leads ultimately to permanent vision loss.

So here is my story in 3 parts:

1, When I was young…

Growing up I had and still have the best family anyone could ask for: a loving mother and supportive father and an amazing sister who have supported me through thick and thin. When I was 12 years of age the doctors in London, Ontario confirmed that I had a rare but ever progressing genetic eye disease RP. I never forget the moment when the specialist broke the news to me and my dad at the hospital, he said: “Son, you will go blind. When? I don’t know, but this is inevitable.” All I remember was the shock and confusion on my father’s face. My life changed. All I remember is the multiple trips to retinal specialists, doctor’s offices and the various treatments from eye drops, drugs, eye surgeries to direct needle injections to my eye balls. I recall people from the Canadian National Institute for the Blind who encouraged me to learn Braille as soon as possible “while I still had vision.” We had seen genetic counsellors but they could not identify the gene responsible for RP. After endless tests and specialist visits all they concluded that there was no hope in reversing the eye degeneration and I may pass it on to my children.

2, Life goes on till one day…

I think I spent the next decade suppressing the fears and blocking the grim reality of approaching blindness and disability by focusing on my goals: I dedicated the next 5 years to achieving my dream of becoming a soccer player. I was on my way to be selected for the U17 Ontario provincial soccer team; which then lead to being invited to the Canadian Youth National Player Pool where the best youth players across Canada come to train and get scouted to represent Team Canada. My ultimate dream was to be selected to play professionally in the UK! That dream was snatched out of my hands when I was 17 and got diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis and suddenly went from 157 to 120 pounds in 3 weeks due to bleeding of my bowels. I lost so much blood that I needed multiple blood transfusions. I was no longer fit to play soccer, I lost my health and my dream…

Around the same time after being discharged from the hospital, a day came that I will never forget. I remember going to the store with my dad and looking up at the florescent lights and all of a sudden I could not see anything with my left eye. I started to panic and called for my father and he just held me in his arms while I sobbed.

From then on I struggled with bursts of anger and anxiety attacks, which in retrospect seem to be signs of depression, but I did not know that at the time. It was hard on my family and loved ones, but they stood by my side.

Fast forwarding to my 20s: I decided to pursue my goal to become a physiotherapist and work for professional soccer clubs in the UK, if not as a player but at least as a professional associate. I enrolled in the University of Waterloo Kinesiology program with a focus on pre medical studies. It took me 5 years of hard work, sweat and tears and lots of prayers along with amazing people who came to my life and supported me though it all. During university years I pursued alternative therapies for my Ulcerative Colitis and my mom encouraged me to go to India and try Ayurvedic treatments. My parents lived in India after escaping from Iran.

During my first visit my mom, a friend and I looking for treatment for my Ulcerative Colitis, miraculosly stumbled upon an eye hospital that treated difficult cases and combined both conventional medical treatments and natural methods to restore or improve patients’ eyesight. The treatments I received for the next 5 years in this hospital arrested the development of eye degeneration so I could finish my undergrad degree.

3. New beginnings, hope and the courage to ask for help

In total I spent one and a half years in the eye hospital, while gaining amazing good friends and cherishing memories forever. I have seen the dedication and love of these doctors and it inspired me to become a naturopathic doctor. This love of service to help others came from my direct experience from receiving treatments and healing in India.

After 4 rigorous years of medical school I graduated from the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine, in 2014. What transpired during and after this time was that I met my wife, moved to the Northwest Territories and had a beautiful son, Ezrah who is now three years old. I must say, whether you believe in a higher power or not, it seems my personal growth never ends and my life continues to challenge me to the core. I feel I have found my life’s passion: to help others heal and be part of their journey to wholeness. I love my job as a naturopathic doctor and every day is a blessing, I learn so much from my patients.

The reality remains however: during the past few years my eyesight has been deteriorating as I could not afford to continue the maintenance treatments in India due to financial constraints and life events. I am losing vision quite quickly now, I only disclosed this to my closest family members and friends.

I did not let others know the extent this is happening for many reasons, but I guess the main reason is that I do not want to mentally give in to fear. What if I wake up tomorrow and can’t see my son’s beautiful face?  What if my passion in life: working as a naturopathic doctor comes to an end? What if I cannot support my family? All these thoughts and fears have plagued my mind in the past 9 months.

Dearest friends, family and those reading my story,

I must muster up the courage to face this grim reality and ask for help, which is not easy for me. If you know me, then you know I would not ask if it wasn’t really necessary. At this point in my life I am in no way able to afford the treatments in India, and if I do not go I will lose my eyesight.

So, with God’s grace I am asking for your prayers and support, whether it is encouragement or financial donations of any amount. I am planning to go to India at the end of December 2017 and remain there for 6 weeks for an intensive intervention and treatment sequence to reverse the degeneration of my eyes. I need to raise a substantial amount: I am hoping to fundraise for $35,000.00 to cover the airfare, accommodation, medicines, conventional and ayurvedic treatments.

Again, my dearest loved ones, this is the story of my life that I wanted to share with you all. I know all of you have many obligations and financial responsibilities. Someone near and dear told me: “Sha, if you don’t ask, you will never receive!”

So I shared my heart and opened to you the book of my life. Please pray for me to get my vision back.

This is me taking the leap of faith and the courage to ask for your kind help, in the hopes that my prayers are answered through your blessings.

 
With lots of love and sincerity,


 Shahin

Donations

  • L moslehi 
    • $100 
    • 23 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $50 
    • 25 mos
  • Neda Ryan  
    • $50 
    • 29 mos
  • Anne Hussain 
    • $20 
    • 29 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $100 
    • 29 mos
See all

Organizer

Shahin Moslehi 
Organizer
Yellowknife, NT
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