Beyond Blindness Holiday Giving Campaign

YOUR GIFT IS DOUBLED — Give hundreds of children and families the gift of knowing they can overcome any obstacle!

A fundraising campaign for Beyond Blindness

You are helping more than 300 families at Beyond Blindness through their journey of care. Thank you! Blind Children’s Learning Center renamed as Beyond Blindness to reflect the more expansive needs of kids we serve, and the families raising them. 

Ava (3) is one of those children. When she was born, blindness was the last thing on the minds of her parents, Justin and Jen. “We knew something was wrong and kept going to doctor after doctor for answers,” Jen recalls from a difficult pregnancy and frequent hospital visits early in Ava’s life. “It was terrible seeing Ava be poked and prodded.” 

When Ava was 7 months old, one of her eyes started turning in. It looked like strabismus (crossed eyes) at first. Then she stopped looking at Mom and Dad. After that, her eye swelled. The entire family was back in the emergency room for more testing. 

This time, the doctors had answers. Ava had pediatric cancer spreading to the eyes and could no longer see. They didn’t leave the hospital for two weeks. Amid more poking, prodding, and weeks of chemotherapy on their tiny child, “The hardest news we ever received was that Ava was blind.” Justin elaborates, “When I lost the ability to make eye contact with my daughter, everything changed.”

These experiences are all too common for families you support. But just like everyone else in the Beyond Blindness community, Ava’s family found hope. Their hope came when Ava’s LA-based ophthalmologist said he knew about a “blind school” in Orange County. A quick Google search revealed that Beyond Blindness was headquartered just a few blocks away from their home. 

“Finding out that Beyond Blindness was right in our backyard was the biggest blessing.” Jen emphasized feeling less alone. “We didn’t know anyone in our situation, and it can be so hard to find support.”

They called right away, and thanks to generous supporters like you, essential early intervention services started right away, too.

Ava is thriving, achieving milestones regularly, and establishing her independence thanks to a comprehensive set of services provided both at their home and Beyond Blindness facilities. It's all part of the Journey of Care all families embark on at Beyond Blindness:

“I didn’t want to push Ava after she had been through so much,” says Mom. “Her therapists taught me how to challenge Ava in a fun way, like using audible toys and placing obstacles for her to explore.”

Ava’s blossoming independence far outpaced her visual acuity. Enrolling Ava in Orientation & Mobility (O&M) services is already giving Ava more tools to safely play and explore like any other child. “She hated the cane at first,” says Jen. O&M Specialist Amanda teaches her songs and games to make practice proper cane techniques fun. It’s working. “We just took Ava to the San Diego Zoo, and she had so much fun using her cane throughout the park.”

Her dad is learning adaptive vision skills just like Ava: “I get really close to her face to say I love her, and I ask Ava to look back at me. She has to really try, but we can look each other in the eye again.” This holiday season, you can give hundreds of children and families the gift of knowing they can overcome any obstacle.

Please send a gift today for the growing number of families turning to Beyond Blindness.

Your holiday gift is DOUBLED thanks to The McBeth Foundation, which is sponsoring a $60,000 matching gift challenge in celebration of our 60th year of service.

Every dollar you give will be doubledThank you for championing the inherent strength and value within each child.

For Ava and her family, you mean everything.

 More Than a Match

Not only will your gift be doubled, but The Glaukos Charitable Foundation is prepared to give an extra $5,000 to Beyond Blindness if supporters like you commit at least $10,000 through #GivingTuesday on November 30!

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