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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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61% of the U.S. adult population had an eye examination within the past year.

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Myth: An eye examination is necessary only if you are having eye problems.

Fact: Everyone should follow proper eye care, including regular eye exams, whether or not you're having any noticeable signs of problems. For adults, the frequency depends on your doctor's advice and may be every two years or more often. If you have diabetes or an eye disease, you should have a comprehensive eye exam every year.

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: If you wear glasses, not wearing them will cause your vision to deteriorate faster.

Fact: The immediate side effect of not wearing glasses if you need them is the equivalent of going to an art gallery tour without bothering to get a ticket.

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 2% or 2.2 million Americans 40 years and older have glaucoma.

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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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