This campaign is about our friend Tom Bailey.
We were talking to him the other day and learned that he's been diagnosed with cataracts on his eyes, which means he'll go 70% blind within the year.
Luckily he can get an operation before Christmas, which should restore his vision. Unfortunately though, public health insurance will only cover the standard operation done in such cases as his. The procedure uses UV rays to remove the lens with the cataracts, which could damage Tom’s eyes in the long run. The insurance also pays for replacement lenses; those are however likely to deteriorate pretty quickly. The reason behind these temporary solutions is that usually only old people are affected by cataracts.
The alternative is for him to pay privately for an operation using a laser for the removal, and some better, longer lasting lenses.
Since Tom's only 44 and still has (we should hope!) quite some time to live, and as we all know his theatre work is very visual, we think we can agree that he should have the operation that's safer and more effective in the long run.
However, the cost for laser operation and proper lenses is 5000€, which he seemed pretty concerned about in our conversation.
So here’s what we were thinking:
Tom has been doing lots of really meaningful work at Leipzig International School for years now and we know he's had a big impact on both of us personally and, we think, on many of you too. That work was never well paid, but he's kept on doing it because he loves it and it was something that genuinely meant a lot to and helped many of us as young people to find a voice, to come out of our comfort zone, to take a project into our own hands and take pride in it. We know that he also devotes a lot of his time to social and creative projects without asking for anything in return, and that his other main job over the past years has been working with refugees, which as you can imagine he also wasn't doing for the money.
We don't think it's fair that he should have to decimate his savings (which he'll need for his two boys as they grow up) to pay for this operation. Apart from the fact that he really needs his sight to keep doing his work, which benefits a lot of people, he's also a very good friend of us, and we would hate to see him deal with that kind of stress.
In essence, we think we should help him out. As ex-students, friends, people who appreciate what he's done for us, we think we should try and raise the money he needs by the end of November. Together we think we could definitely make it happen here on GoFundMe. Perhaps some of your family and friends have also seen some of the work you've done with Tom and would like to help. Maybe you can think of other people who have known or worked with Tom over the years and could pitch in - if so, you're more than welcome welcome to share this project with them!
This is a group effort and not a personal project. It's for Tom.
Thank you for taking the time to read this. Please go back up and hit the "Donate" button now ;-)
Sophie & Allen
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