This is Anel Gonzalez. Anel has a condition called Keratoconus-a condition that causes severely distorted vision. Without highly customized and very expensive contact lenses, Anel's vision wouldn't allow her to read, do schoolwork, or participate in everyday high-school activities.
Anel's teacher contacted the Joanna Lions club and made them aware of Anel and her condition. Her vision would steadily decline until blind, and would ultimately require a corneal transplant to repair. There was a new and experimental treatment, Corneal Cross-Linking, undergoing FDA trials, but without help, Anel would not be able to enroll.
The Joanna Lions Club came to the South Carolina Lions Charitable Services for assistance. The SCLCS was able to enroll her in the trials in Miami. SCLCS working with the Goose Creek Lions Club also covered the cost of the treatment for Anel, at the cost of $2,500 per eye.
Anel must still wear corrective contact lenses, but the results of the treatment have been life-altering. She can now live the life of high-schooler, and can participate in activities that were previously inaccessible for her. Furthermore, the threat of an imminent corneal transplant no longer hangs over her head.
Through a collaborative effort, SCLCS and the Goose Creek and Joanna Lions Clubs gave this little girl back her sight and her life.