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Background

Helen Keller

Helen Adams Keller was born on June 27, 1880 in Tuscumbia, Alabama. In 1882, she fell ill and was struck blind, deaf and mute. Beginning in 1887, Keller’s teacher, Anne Sullivan, helped her make tremendous progress with her ability to communicate, and Keller went on to college, graduating in 1904. In 1920, Keller helped found the ACLU. During her lifetime, she received many honors in recognition of her accomplishments. During her remarkable life, Keller stood as a powerful example of how determination, hard work, and imagination can allow an individual to triumph over adversity. By overcoming difficult conditions with a great deal of persistence, she grew into a respected and world-renowned activist who labored for the betterment of others.

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There are an estimated 45 million BLIND people and 246 million have LOW VISION.

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Myth: Doing eye exercises will keep you from needing glasses.

Fact: Eye Exercises do not enhance or preserve vision or diminish the need for glasses. Your vision relies on the shape of your eyes, the health of your eye tissues, and many other factors, none of which can be appreciably altered with eye exercises.

Myth: Using glasses or contacts will weaken eyesight or eyes will become dependent on them.

Fact: Your eyes will NOT grow weaker as a result of using corrective lenses. Your prescription may change over time due to aging or the presence of disease, but it is not because of your current prescription.

Myth: There is nothing you can do to prevent vision loss.

Fact: At the very first sign of symptoms, such as blurred vision, eye pain, flashes of light, or sudden onset of floater in your eyes, you should see a doctor. If detected early enough, depending on the cause, there are treatments that can correct, stop, or at least slow down the loss of vision.

Haghtanak Nursing Home

Following Armenia’s long, hard, cold winter the Mobile Eye Hospital emerges from hibernation (Yerevan garage) and embarks on a 10-month journey to conduct eye screenings and treat patients throughout the marzes.

Treating the vulnerable and children is a top priority of the EyeCare Project. Its first stop each year is “Haghtanak,” a nursing home in Yerevan, followed by visits to soup kitchens, more nursing homes, special schools and orphanages and a number of other local community groups and nongovernmental organizations that care for the poor and underserved, the vulnerable and disabled, families of perished fighters, war veterans and Mission Armenia beneficiaries.

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Approximately 16% or 20.5 million Americans 40 years and older have cataracts.

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Anna Hovakimyan, M.D.

Anna Hovakimyan, Chief of the Corneal-Uveitis Clinic at the Republican Eye Hospital in Yerevan, Armenia, encounters the same challenges as other working mothers worldwide. How does she balance her roles as mother, wife and physician? “With great difficulty,” Dr. Hovakimyan responds. Though her days are always filled with conflicting demands upon her time, she responds to all who need her with kindness and grace. Along with her demanding medical career, Anna and her husband, Hayk Avagyan, Chief of Orthopedics and Sports Trauma at St. Nerses the Great Hospital in Yerevan, are the parents of two active boys, Arik Avagyan, 9, and Arsen Avagyan, 5.

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