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For those who can’t afford surgery, cataracts take everything from them. Operation Sight aims to help.

More than 24 million people over the age of 40 have cataracts. Surgery is a safe and effective treatment, but can cost as much as $6,000 per eye for those without insurance.

Dennis Sherlin was one of many who couldn’t afford that. “My sight was so bad that I could not see anything in front of me,” he said. “My world started falling apart. I could not drive or work, I couldn’t play with my kid.”

When a GoFundMe page failed to raise enough money, Sherlin’s sister Robin found Operation Sight.

The gift of sight

Operation Sight is a U.S.-based charitable cataract surgery program launched in 2014 by The American Society of Cataract and Refraction Surgery (ASCRS). The program connects under- and uninsured people who cannot afford to pay for cataract surgery to a nationwide network of volunteer surgeons.

Robin completed the online application on Dennis’s behalf, and they heard back quickly. A surgeon in Jacksonville, Florida was able to perform the procedure on both eyes.

Looking to the future

“Today, my vision is better than it has ever been,” Dennis noted. This has given him his life back. “For years, I haven’t been able to see during the holidays. This year, I am excited to watch my loved ones open presents — to see the excitement and smiles on their faces. Until you are unable to see the simplest things and the things that matter most, you will never understand the beauty in everyday life.”

Operation Sight depends on support from donors, and the annual Gift of Sight fundraising campaign is a chance to change someone’s life. Click here to donate.

If you or a loved one is suffering from cataracts and unable to afford treatment, fill out the Patient Inquiry Form at to determine eligibility for the program.

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