Dr. Geoff Tabin is changing lives: A Vision for Eliminating Blindness with Innovation.
I just read a powerful story in the December issue of National Geographic Adventure magazine. A story that has caused me to shift my thinking about a lot of things. You can read the short version below, or you can click the link above to read the whole thing.
Dr. Geoff Tabin was the 4th person to ever climb the Seven Summits, the tallest mountain in every continent. Very few people have done this and it is a very impressive feat. But, it’s a personal feat. It does not really improve anybody else’s lives.
It’s kind of like my competing in the Olympics. Sure, it might inspire a few people to work harder for their dreams and goals, but it’s mostly a personal goal.
What’s incredible about Dr. Tabin is what he’s done since climbing the 7 Summits. He found out that in 3rd world countries, most blindness is due to cataracts and through a simple 10 minute surgery he can give sight – and a life, back to a blind person. And, he can do it for about $20 per surgery.
Dr. Tabin goes to places like Tibet, or Ethiopia, sets up a clinic, and with the help of several other doctors they perform hundreds of operations a week.
Get this, the life expectancy of a blind person in these places is one third the life expectancy of a person with vision, so by giving blind people sight, he’s not just improving their lives, he’s lengthening their lives and making them non-dependent on others and more productive.
As far as I’m concerned, Dr. Tabin is a hero.
His website has some really cool videos of what they do. By the way, their organization is rated extremely high in how they use funds people donate to them.
I may not be able to perform the operation, but at least I can feel good that I can help this humanitarian project in a small way.
David Oliver Relin is currently working on a new book, See How They Shine, about Tabin, Ruit, and the quest to cure preventable blindness. It will be published by Random House in the spring of 2011. For more information on the Himalayan Cataract Project, go to www.cureblindness.org