Loraleen McCloskey, an avid gardener, natural products/soapmaker and passionate animal lover, was recently declared legally blind. Having battled with Lupus for 20+ years now, the medication, Plaquenil (an anti-malarial medication commonly used to treat Lupus symptons), has caused Toxic Retinal Maculopathy. This condition is a potential side effect that damages the occular retina and reduces vision, up to and including possible blindness. My wife was prescribed this medication for 12 years while being monitored regularly for any signs of this dangerous side effect.
In 2014, a problem was identified and Loraleen immediately ceased taking the medication. Unfortunately, Plaquenil can remain in the body for years after being discontinued, making further damage possible. As a result, in 2015, her vision began to deteriorate; as of August of 2017, she is now legally blind.
A potential life-changer came our way on August 31, 2017. Loraleen had the opportunity to try E-Sight, electronic glasses that literally enable the legally blind to see. Hesitant, yet hopeful, she put on the glasses and was able to see, crystal clear, for the first time in over two years. With the glasses on, she has 20/25 vision!
Now for why I'm doing this campaign... the glasses are not covered by healthcare insurance; the cost for the glasses alone is $10,000, and we are in need of assistance to obtain them for Loraleen. She has lost so much in terms of her quality of life. Driving is non-existant. Reading, gardening, knitting, cooking, and any kind of home or self care is greatly dimished. By having these glasses, she would be able to get back to not only performing regular basic activities, but actually doing the things that she loves.
To say that Loraleen is intrinsically kind and giving is an understatement. Those that know her know her to be the person that's always there for everyone else. She has fostered and adopted countless animals (a number of them with serious health issues), assisted with fundraisers for many people and causes, is the first friend to lend a helping or a comforting shoulder, and, yes, actually knitted leggings for cats and dogs that cannot walk or were missing limbs (Leggings For Life). I know she's my wife, but she is truly a rare and beautiful soul.
Loraleen has always been there for everyone else; it would be tremendous if we could give back to her by raising the funds to get the E-Sight glasses so she can go back to doing what she does best... being Superwoman.
In closing, I want to express my gratitude to my beautiful niece, Lauren, and our dear old friend Wendy, for helping me to gather my thoughts and put into words what I needed and so wanted to say here. Thank you both.
- Bill Ng
- James Mensinger
- Colleen Cavallo
- Pat-Annette BANE -FOOR
- Gail Dennis
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