“It's an incredible gift, and all I can say is thank you from the bottom of my heart."
Photo: Ben Lazrus
Ron has been a working musician for 40 years. “I play the drums, I sing, I play the harmonica a little bit.”
When he developed cataracts, it became a big problem. While it didn’t stop him from playing – after all, there are numerous blind musicians – it did stop him from getting to his gigs.
“I have drums and gear, so I just need to have a car to work. I have to drive long distances, sometimes, to get to my jobs,” Ron explains. “I would have to get somebody to drive me all over the place. It was difficult. Trying to drive at night with the cataracts I had was becoming impossible. When I went to jobs at night, I would need to get out of my car to look at the street signs. I was in trouble.”
Once he arrived, there were other problems. “I need to see the other musicians on stage.”
A friend of Ron’s told him about a program affiliated with Lions Clubs. “I called the Lions Club in Downey, and then I got Maria Fernandez, who is the president in Downey. She gave me the application information for Lions Sight and Hearing Foundation.”
Ron filled out the application, and soon his surgery was scheduled. “They gave me an option of where to go to do it (the surgery), and I went to the Glendale Eye clinic and they treated me great,” he recalls. “I got my eyes fixed. It was like a miracle. It’s frightening when you think you’re going to lose your eyesight, very frightening. I’m pretty thrilled to have my eyes fixed.”
No more getting out of the car to read the street signs. “Now I can drive at night with no problem. I can see the street signs, I can see the details in the shadows, and if someone walked out in front of me, I can see them. It’s great.”
Like many people, Ron doesn’t have a lot of financial security. “I don’t have a retirement pension or anything like that, or money. I need to keep working as long as I can.”
With his vision restored, he’ll be able to do that.
“I would like to say thank you to Lions Sight and Hearing Foundation, you made a miracle happen in my life and restored my faith,” he asserts. “It’s an incredible gift, and all I can say is thank you from the bottom of my heart. It’s just a great thing to be able to see.”