A Big Gift for a Little One Two-year-old Kacey Heisler loves dressing up in her Snow White costume, playing with her two big sisters and reading picture books. But soon after she was born, her parents were gravely concerned about her vision. “Kacey wasn’t doing the normal eye movements that newborns do,” says Kacey’s mother, Kristin Graham Heisler (pictured together). At 2 months old, Kacey was diagnosed with a rare eye disease called Peters Anomaly, which causes cloudiness in the cornea that can lead to glaucoma, cataracts and blindness. She needed a cornea transplant in each eye. The Heislers were overwhelmed with questions and financial concerns. “I had to stop working because Kacey needed constant care. It also nerve-racking trying to understand what was covered by insurance and what was not. The insurance company knew us on a first-name basis,” says Heisler. Fortunately, Kacey’s doctor facilitated the gift of two corneas from the Lions Eye Bank of Delaware Valley’s Gratis Tissue Fund. And the Laurel Springs Lions helped the New Jersey family navigate the new territory. “The Lions helped me understand the process of corneal transplant. Some members went through it themselves,” points out Heisler. At 4 months old, Kacey’s successful corneal transplants were completed, and she began catching up with her developmental milestones, with intervention services the Lions helped the Heislers connect with. Kacey wears glasses provided by the Lions. “Kacey has been doing fantastic, and she’s so happy! This really was a miraculous gift,” says Heisler. Lions, has your club heard from a recipient of your service or charity? Tell us about the feedback you’ve received from those whose lives you’ve changed for the better. Email a brief description to firstname.lastname@example.org and include “Thank You” in the subject line.
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