home
RSS
March 29th, 2011
10:21 AM ET

Human Factor: Losing sight, gaining a vision

In the Human Factor, Dr. Sanjay Gupta introduces you to survivors who have overcome the odds. Confronting a life obstacle - injury, illness or other hardship –- they tapped their inner strength and found resilience they didn’t know they possessed.  Isaac Lidsky was told by doctors at 13 that he'd go blind one day, but Lidsky hasn't let not being able to see get in the way of his success. Here is his story in his own words.

I find great peace in the knowledge that I will see my children.

When I was 13, a vision specialist told me I was slowly going blind.  He explained I had a genetic disease of the retina that would cause my photoreceptor cells to cease functioning and then expire.  There were no treatments or cures, he stressed, and he dispassionately suggested I should not hold out hope that any would be developed in my lifetime.  I was left searching for the right way to deal with it all.

A parade of angels showed me the way.  It began with my parents.  Devastated by the news, they somehow found the strength to seek out the leading medical researchers in the field.  This led us to University of Miami Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, where we found Dr. Samuel Jacobson.

He rescued my family.  Dr. Jacobson explained that he and other researchers had made much progress discovering treatments and cures, and in light of his apparent devotion to his work and obvious brilliance, this optimism gave us great hope.  Generous and caring, Dr. Jacobson has remained my treating physician to this day.  With his support, we gained the counsel and friendship of many of his peers—geniuses like him laboring to eradicate blindness.

Because  a scarcity of financing was hindering those scientists’ efforts, my parents turned to family and friends for help raising research funding in my hometown, Miami.  Our community responded with overwhelming support.  Friends worked selflessly and tirelessly to host an annual black-tie fundraiser.  Each year they recruited more attendees, and each year the attendees’ generosity wildly exceeded our expectations.  I learned from these volunteers and donors that at its best, the human spirit is beautiful and selfless.

Hope For Vision was born of that lesson.  I knew there were many families like mine that would, if properly educated and supported, turn to their own communities for help funding research.  My friend Erich Wasserman encouraged me to work to this end, and then agreed to do so along with me.  Founding donor Adrienne Arsht set us on our way with advice, introductions and unparalleled generosity.

We founded Hope For Vision in 2004, and for the next five years I had the privilege of overseeing its rapid growth.  I spoke at numerous events, appeared in national media, testified before lawmakers, and met with afflicted individuals and their families.  We launched Communities of Hope in several cities, hired talented executives, supported fundraising and awareness events large and small, recruited a world-class Board of Visionary Scientists to evaluate grant proposals, gained tens of thousands of supporters, raised well over $5 million, and channeled more than 95% of that money to cutting-edge vision research.

That research has generated groundbreaking results.  Most recently, the Adrienne Arsht Hope for Vision Retinal Degeneration Research Laboratory at University of Miami Bascom Palmer, led by Dr. Byron Lam, and the genetics labs at UM’s John P. Hussman Institute for Human Genomics, led by Dr. Margaret A. Pericak-Vance, Dr. Jeffery M. Vance and Dr. Stephan Züchner, discovered the genetic source of blindness in my family and deciphered the pathway from that gene to disease.   Their monumental work has brought the promise of treatments and cures into focus.

Before my vision fully faded, I met Dorothy, God’s most beautiful angel, and we quickly fell in love.  Graceful, wise and unfailingly strong, Dorothy was often my guide, and always my companion, as I confronted the fears, frustrations and practical realities of a world going dark.  With her, I learned to live a blessed life as a blind man.

Five years after we married, we agreed we wanted to raise children together, and shortly thereafter we celebrated the miracle of a pregnancy.  Two months later we met with a doctor and discovered the magnitude of that miracle.  Not one, not two, but three babies on the way.  Lily Louise, Phineas James and Thaddeus Johnston were born on September 14.  They  instantly became our world—and my reason to see again.

Post by:
Filed under: Eyes • Human Factor

soundoff (40 Responses)
  1. Elivet

    i belive that is really importan to belive on your selves and to have faith that you guys th eblind people are going to be able to see oneces againg. dont ever loose faith. i had the oppurtunity to see and i feel happy and am thankful to god that i can see so i think you guys should be more close to god and he will help you see again.... God bless you guys

    March 29, 2011 at 12:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. WhereToNowDC

    My wife has RP. They are doing amazing things in RP (and other degenerative eye disease) research and treatment now. People who had no hope 10 years ago now have hope. Keep the faith all of you who are fighting RP!

    March 30, 2011 at 08:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. sandra

    You and your family are an inspiration.......continue fighting the good fight because with God on your side all things are possible !

    April 2, 2011 at 00:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. buy sustanon

    As I website owner I believe the articles here is really fantastic , thankyou for your efforts.

    November 18, 2011 at 08:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. sustanon

    Hello everybody! I do not know where to begin but hope this thechart.blogs.cnn.com will be useful for me.

    December 1, 2011 at 09:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Cristi Plankey

    ecommerce site

    http://www.hgS0kz62A2.com/hgS0kz62A2

    August 10, 2016 at 23:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Luis Carmelia

    Un chien regarde bien un eveque. https://www.cialis20.fr

    December 6, 2019 at 05:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. detectives privados alcantarilla

    detectives privados boadilla del monte

    https://www.argadetectives.com/detectives-fuente-alamo-murcia.html

    December 10, 2020 at 23:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. bitcoin to paypal

    Transfer from bitcoin to paypal very fast and low cost.

    https://exchanger24.org/xchange_btc_to_ppusd/

    December 15, 2020 at 20:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Shantell Cornutt

    Naturally I like your web site, but you need to take a look at the spelling on quite a few of your posts. A number of them are rife with spelling issues and I find it very silly to tell you. On the other hand I will definitely come again again!

    http://www.buy4solutioncomncqcp.blogacep.com/a

    December 25, 2020 at 18:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Latonia Hughen

    Thankyou for helping out, fantastic info .

    http://www.buy4solutioncomodqdqc.tinyblogging.com/a

    December 30, 2020 at 17:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Racheal Schleifer

    I enjoy your work, thanks for all the interesting blog posts.

    https://proxyti.com/buy/5000-private-proxies/

    January 1, 2021 at 10:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Oren Brunson

    Billiard is a game which is mostly played by the high class people

    http://www.buy4solutioncomrfrerd.mpeblog.com/a

    January 2, 2021 at 16:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Cedric Therrell

    Social network traffic Facebook likes Twitter Followers Instagram Followers and much more

    https://bit.ly/3iOPatX

    January 28, 2021 at 00:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Make-money-in auto-pilot-2021

    Earn 500 a Day With Our Passive Income System Doing These 3 Steps – Step 1: Get our ready made niche websites, Step 2: Setup your Paypal account. Step 3: Run our Unlimited Traffic System from our Free 850 sources of traffic (Approximately 35000 views a day guaranteed). Then in few hours you will start receiving payments without do nothing! More info: https://warriorplus.com/o2/a/gp8vk/0

    https://bitly.com/2RfJYVc

    January 30, 2021 at 07:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Shenna Lammel

    Get Our Passive Income System – Step 1: Get our ready made niche websites, Step 2: Setup your Paypal account. Step 3: Run our Unlimited Traffic System from 850 sources of traffic (Approximately 35000 views a day guaranteed). Then just wait and earn your income 100 on autopilot.

    https://warriorplus.com/o2/a/pdps2/0

    February 5, 2021 at 09:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Drive-20000 Google-Organic-Visitors

    High DA PA 50+ Do follow Forum Backlinks: https://www.seoclerk.com/Link-Building/836800/High-DA-PA-50-Do-follow-Forum-Backlinks

    https://www.seoclerk.com/Link-Building/836800/High-DA-PA-50-Do-follow-Forum-Backlinks

    February 16, 2021 at 09:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. Gladys Gleason

    Terrific work! This is the type of info that should be shared around the internet. Shame on Google for not positioning this post higher! Come on over and visit my website . Thanks =)

    https://extraproxies.com/call-another-phone-text-when-bluetooth-device-goes-out-of-range/

    April 14, 2021 at 14:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. zithromax buy online

    zithromax tab https://zithromaxes.com/ where to get zithromax

    April 15, 2021 at 16:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. muse injection

    alprostadil penile suppository price https://alprostadildrugs.com/ alprostadil cost per dose

    April 16, 2021 at 13:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. buying canadian cialis

    cialis, sale, canadian pharm. https://canadacialisstore.com/ cialis at canadian pharmacy

    April 16, 2021 at 22:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. average perscription pills taken by 65 year old canadian?

    canadian pills pharmacy https://canadapillstorex.com/ average perscription pills taken by 65 year old canadian?

    April 22, 2021 at 08:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. vardenafil 20 mg

    vardenafil- vardenafil tablet, film coated https://vegavardenafil.com/ vardenafil 40 mg generic

    April 25, 2021 at 15:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. 40 mg tadalafil

    tadalafil 60 mg for sale https://elitadalafill.com/ tadalafil 40 mg daily

    April 25, 2021 at 19:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. sildenafil in mexico

    buy sildenafil online no prescription https://eunicesildenafilcitrate.com/ sildenafil citrate over the counter

    April 28, 2021 at 10:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. cialis canadian discounts

    buy generic cialis, canadian https://canadacialisstore.com/ canadian pharmacy no perscription generic cialis

    April 29, 2021 at 07:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. canadian diet pills

    canadian generic pills https://canadapillstorex.com/ best canadian mail order pharmacies for diet pills

    May 1, 2021 at 08:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. aralen phosphate chloroquine phosphate

    what is chloroquine https://chloroquineorigin.com/ choloriquine

    May 3, 2021 at 00:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. priligy

    priligy dapoxetine dapoxetine 30mg price

    May 8, 2021 at 14:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. avanafil

    buy avana usa buy avana usa

    May 16, 2021 at 15:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. cyclosporine

    cyclomune 0.1% eye drops cost buy cyclosporine

    May 22, 2021 at 23:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. Tembepteriope

    tadalafil online with out prescription https://apcalisetadalafil.com/ tadalafil order online no prescription what is tadalafil generic cialis tadalafil

    May 23, 2021 at 22:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. combigan

    brimonidine eye drops buy generic brimonidine

    May 23, 2021 at 23:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. tausAffessy

    buy tadalafil where to buy tadalafil on line tadalafil without a doctor prescription tadalafil liquid https://tadalafilol.com/ – where to get tadalafil

    May 25, 2021 at 03:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Soosteemocush

    cialis without prescription https://tadalafilol.com/ – generic tadalafil from uk tadalafil dosage tadalafil order online no prescription https://tadalafilww.com/

    May 25, 2021 at 03:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. tausAffessy

    tadalafil https://cttadalafil.com/ – tadalafil drug lowest price cialis where to buy tadalafil on line https://tadagatadalafil.com/

    May 26, 2021 at 08:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. combigan

    buy combigan online combigan coupon

    May 26, 2021 at 19:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. tausAffessy

    cheapest tadalafil cost buy generic cialis online with mastercard cialis without prescription what is tadalafil https://tadacipetadalafil.com/

    May 27, 2021 at 03:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. supplements to improve testosterone levels

    Greetings! Very useful advice in this particular post!
    It's the little changes which will make the most significant
    changes. Many thanks for sharing!

    May 27, 2021 at 08:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. best cbd gummies for pain

    Wow, great blog.Really thank you! Will read on...

    https://bit.ly/3x2ZiGJ

    June 30, 2021 at 12:25 | Report abuse | Reply

Post a comment


 

CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

Advertisement
About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.