Winter 2011 - 2012Published on December 01, 2011
It is hard to imagine everything that has transpired since OIUF was born six years ago. I am continuously amazed by the compassion, generosity, and energy which patients, family members, and physicians alike put into the Foundation to shape this once small idea into what it is today. The story of Mia’s Army exemplifies that it truly does takes an Army to combat ocular inflammatory disease; an insistent parent who won’t take no for an answer, an educated local ophthalmologist who refers quickly before permanent damage is done, a team of specialists with the latest treatments available, a patient, young or old, who is willing to do whatever it takes to put out the fire of inflammation completely, and a support system of family and friends for the patient to rely on during the fight.
As Mia’s Army grows, so too does the Foundation. This November, OIUF will take its mission overseas. I will be lecturing in Kuwait and seeing patients with one of my former Fellows, Ghassan Zein, MD. I will also lecture in Beirut, Lebanon and visit the clinic of one of my former Chief Clinical Fellows, Rola Hamam, MD. MERSI Staff Physician David Hinkle, MD will travel to Goa, India to speak at the International Ocular Inflammation Society’s annual meeting. Dr. Hinkle was also invited to speak at LV Prasad Eye Institute and L.C.H. SadHuram Eye Hospital in Hyderabad and a local eye hospital in Rajahmundry.The Fellows who train at MERSI and conduct research through OIUF remain at the heart of the
Foundation. This year boasts one of the largest classes, with three Clinical Fellows and eight Research Fellows/Observers, all from different parts of the globe and all of whom see patients with me during clinic hours and conduct their own research projects. These young physicians are the magnets that pull me to teach every day, be it in the clinic as they see firsthand the improvement in a patient’s health, watching their eyes as they make the connection between how inflammation in the eyes affects the entire body, or hearing about their success as they leave Cambridge and begin their own careers as ocular immunologists.
As 2011 draws to a close and we plan ahead for the New Year, I look forward to what the future holds for the Foundation and for the physicians and patients who benefit from its resources. These resources would not be possible without the funds raised through efforts such as OIUF’s Walk for Vision, Physician Education Conferences, and the annual Art Auction, all of which you will read about in this issue, as well as the generosity of each of you who contribute each year to the Annual Fund. I am so grateful to every one of you