First Suzanne Denis’ son Daniel started losing his vision to Leber’s Disease, which primarily afflicts boys. Then tragedy struck twice. Teen daughter Melissa was diagnosed with the same blinding degenerative condition. Orléans Lions in Ottawa, Canada, gave Melissa an $18,000 check for experimental treatment that shows promise in slowing Leber’s progression. “I’m a single mom with three kids. I’m the only person they can count on,” Denis told Orléansonline.com. “At first I thought I was totally on my own, but the Lions have shown me I’m not. I have the whole community behind me.” Lions gave Daniel, now legally blind, a laptop. Lion Gerry Carisse says meeting the family “deeply moved me.” He and his wife remain close to them, monitoring youngest child, Sarah, for any sign that Lebers will strike the family a third time. UPCOMING IN THE LION The LION talks with former U.S. President Jimmy Carter on the success of Lions and The Carter Center in reducing blindness. Lions and The Carter Center have collaborated for years on curbing onchocerciasis, commonly known as river blindness, and trachoma in Latin America and Africa. Carter is a longtime Lion.
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