Tristan's Keratoconus Treatment

Tristan was just diagnosed with keratoconus in both eyes. It is a progressive corneal condition that, if not treated now, will greatly reduce his vision for life and require corneal transplants. Corneal cross-linking can slow the progression and give Tristan a chance a decent vision through high school and college. 

Tristan is our 14 year old son and the oldest of our five children. He has always been healthy and a helper. He has grown into such a fine young man with big plans and a great personality. He loves games of all kinds, books, and science. He leads a roleplaying group, loves theater, and recently learned- and loves- to dance.

When Tristan was 13 we discovered he needed glasses, badly. He has complex vision issues that allowed him to hyper-focus and 'fool' us for years, but as he got older he couldn't hide it any longer. In addition to regular astigmatisms, he has congenital cataracts and, now, keratoconus. His glasses have never fully corrected his vision and now we know why. At this point they are unable to correct his vision enough for him to pass a driver's test next year. This procedure will change that.

We are lucky to live near the UC Eye Clinic and this is where the tests confirming his condition have been done. While we have insurance for Tristan, it only covers an eye exam and glasses once every 24 months, nothing more. The tests have been done out of pocket and this will have to be, too. The specialists at the UC Eye Center implore us to find a way- any way- to get this procedure for Tristan. If we wait, his condition will become too advanced for corneal cross-linking. 

Tristan is going to high school in the fall and is so excited. We want to give him every good start we can, but this is something we can't do alone. We appreciate any help you can give and as much sharing of his story as you can!

He is big brother x 4, always the responsible one. When he learned about this diagnosis and the need for this procedure he tried to decline it, saying he would do without rather than spend so much. Please, he can't wait. He needs his vision.

The total funding goal reflects the total cost of his procedure.

Tristan with his siblings this Easter

Donations ()

  • Elizabeth Uyehara-Smith 
    • $25 
    • 32 mos
  • K P 
    • $150 
    • 33 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $100 
    • 33 mos
  • Jennifer and Eric Raasch 
    • $100 
    • 33 mos
  • Katie and Noah Grady-Unger 
    • $100 
    • 33 mos
See all


Tabitha O'Melay 
Berkeley, CA
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