Get Involved » Join the Ring of Hope and save a child’s vision and life
Rithika Sri is a beautiful, sweet-natured child. She loves to run after her big brother, Diwakar. She first came to Aravind’s Orbit Clinic when she was 12 days old for an eye check-up. Her parents had been told to have her checked regularly, because her brother had retinoblastoma – eye cancer -- three years earlier. One of his eyes was removed. Rithika’s mother had also had retinoblastoma when she was a child, and has an artificial eye. Rithika was lucky, and Aravind doctors were able to save her vision, thanks to early diagnosis. Today, Rithika and Diwakar are both healthy and cancer-free.
Each week, the doctors and nurses at Aravind Eye Hospital in India see children like Rithikasri. Their stories don’t always have such happy endings. Retinoblastoma is a fast-growing, often fatal type of eye cancer, affecting primarily children. This devastating disease robs children of their sight and often their lives, and places a huge financial burden on the family.
Kaviarasu was two years old when his parents brought him to Aravind with a swollen, reddish eye. He was diagnosed with retinoblastoma -- a full course of treatment costs $1000 for surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, blood replacement, custom-made prostheses, and continuing counseling and support – well beyond the means of most Indian families. Kaviarasu’s parents are field workers and make about 65 cents a day.
In 2004, Dr. Usha Kim, head of Aravind’s Orbit and Oncology Department at Aravind Eye Hospital-Madurai, founded the Ring of Hope program to provide treatment to children like Kaviarasu and Rithisasri free of charge. To date, the Ring of Hope has given more than 900 patients with retinoblastoma the gifts of hope and sight.
To find out how you can become part of the Ring of Hope, visit: www.aravindeyefoundation.org.
Based in Madurai, India, Aravind Eye Care System is the world’s largest provider of eye care services in the world, serving 3 million patients and performing 350,000 surgeries a year. Aravind Eye Foundation is a US-based, 501 (c) 3 nonprofit, established in 2000 to help Aravind Eye Care Systems spread its model of sustainable, high-quality, patient-centric healthcare throughout the world.