A New Perspective Michigan native Stacey Weiss, 40, said she can’t remember a time when her vision wasn’t impaired. “I started wearing glasses between kindergarten and first grade,” Weiss said. “Every nine to 10 months, I’d have to get an up on my prescription.” Weiss, who has 11 siblings, half-siblings and step-siblings, got contact lenses in eighth grade. By then, prescriptive lenses were a necessity. “I was hitting the bedside table before I could even get out of bed to get my glasses,” Weiss said. Four children and years later, the waitress’s vision had taken another turn. “By the time I was 35, it was like I was looking through a white sheet all the time,” Weiss said. “I was working a job that I ended up losing because I couldn’t read the tickets anymore.” And that is when the Canton Lions Club intervened. The club coordinated transportation for Weiss to a facility where they performed two separate surgeries to fix the cataracts that obstructed her vision. Through a chance encounter, Weiss’s life has been forever altered by the generosity of Lions. Q&A: Stacy Weiss LION Magazine: How did you come into contact with the Lions? Stacy Weiss: I didn’t really know much about the Lions club. I never knew anyone they actually helped. I was at work and there was a fundraiser going on. I had a hard time reading the tickets and was squinting to make out the orders. The man that was sitting at my table said, “You shouldn’t do that; you’ll ruin your eyes.” He was the president of the Canton Lions and within two weeks they had me in to see a specialist. Every single place that I called couldn’t help me unless I paid them first. The surgeons would put me on a payment plan for six months and I couldn’t afford it. This surgery was out of my reach without the Lions. LM: How has your life changed since the cataract surgeries? SW: I literally saw the world for the first time. My eyesight was so distorted and compromised so young in life I never really got to see anything. I notice how much more beautiful my girls are; they were pretty before but now they’re drop-dead gorgeous. I’m a testament to all those little donation boxes and what they can do for people like me. I didn’t know how to see until I met the Lions.
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