Over 680 staff and friends of the Singapore National Eye Centre (SNEC) came together to walk, run or cycle for The Eye Run/Cycle 2022, a virtual event held in July and August this year.
Together they raised close to $800,000 for SNEC’s VisionSave fundwhich supports initiatives to advance eye health and the fight against blindness in Singapore.
For ‘Team Visionary Pedal Pushers’, it was the second time they were participating in this event. This year, the nine-member team led by Clinical Associate Professor Edmund Wong, a retina surgeon comprised a multidisciplinary group of healthcare professionals who raised over $15,000. Having many years of experience of treating eye diseases, it is a cause that was near and dear to their hearts.
Another second-time participant was Clinical Associate Professor Ho Ching Lin, a senior consultant who specialises in treating adults and children with glaucoma. She raised a whopping $27,100.
“Glaucoma is the leading cause of blindness worldwide and one of the top eye diseases associated with ageing. In Singapore, glaucoma is responsible for 40 per cent of cases of blindness,” shared Cl Assoc Prof Ho. “I am committed to beating this silent thief of sight!”
Cl Assoc Prof Ho is also the Director of Philanthropy and Development for the Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences Academic Clinical Programme, and believes strongly in leading by example through her keen support for VisionSave.
Their actions and support, as well as that of many other participants, make all the difference to patients who would otherwise struggle to cope with poor or no vision.
Mdm Tan Teng Yok, 73, is one such patient who is grateful to VisonSave supporters, whose contributions enabled her to save her sight last year.
Mdm Tan lives in a two-room HDB flat with her husband, a self-employed repairman. The couple has no children and lead a very frugal lifestyle sustained on Mr Tan’s income. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Mr Tan’s livelihood was severely affected, plunging them into greater financial difficulty.
Amidst their hardship, Mdm Tan was diagnosed with cataracts in both eyes. She required surgery as her condition would lead to total blindness if left untreated. Yet, the couple had no means to pay for the surgery.
With the help of the medical social worker, Mdm Tan was able to apply for funding through VisionSave to cover the cost of the operation and outpatient costs for six months post-surgery. This support was a huge relief to the couple who would otherwise have had to grapple with an added burden of Mdm Tan’s lost vision.
VisionSave is a philanthropic drive spearheaded by SNEC and Singapore Eye Research Institute, committed to save sight and improve the lives of patients suffering from debilitating eye diseases. The donations garnered will support innovation, medicine and care that ensures optimal outcomes for every patient.