Research programs that could result in cures and
prevention for blindness are vitally important to the Hepner family!
On June 3, 2003, my 9-month old son,
Brendan, was diagnosed with retinoblastoma, a rare and dangerous
form of cancer of the eye. After great heartache and careful consideration,
the decision was made to remove Brendan's right eye in hopes of eliminating
the cancer and preventing it from spreading throughout his body.
During that time, all through the procedure and every
follow-up visit, Brendan was cared for by the fine and wonderful
doctors and staff at the University of Michigan Kellogg Eye Center and
the University of Michigan C. S. Mott Children's Hospital in
Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Today I am happy to report Brendan is cancer-free and
living the life of a healthy 16-year-old! Needless to say, this gift
of life is a tremendous blessing to my family. And he has a
beautiful prosthetic eye that is a perfect match for his remaining
natural eye. People who are not familiar with his situation do not
even detect he has a prosthetic eye at all!
However, Brendan is subject to the same risks, diseases,
and disorders that all of us face with our eyesight. The difference
for Brendan is that he only has one remaining eye. Any research that
could prevent or cure blindness, if it happened to occur, would be
of tremendous benefit to Brendan and to all people who may experience
March Hoops to BEAT Blindness is an attempt to
raise awareness of the great research being performed in this field,
and a personal mission to support that effort.
Click here to read about the research that MHBB will support this year!