“In the early 1990s, prior to the founding of ESI, Dr. Dubord had worked in Japan, Pakistan, China, and India promoting Eye Banking and Corneal Transplantation.
Patients in his practice in Vancouver became aware of his work. In particular, an 85-year-old retired physician, who had undergone Corneal Transplants, showed interest in Dr. Dubord’s work overseas
On several occasions, she had mentioned to him that she would like to support his volunteer work in Lower- and Middle-Income Countries [LMIC]. On several occasions, six months apart during her follow-up eye exams, she continued to make these remarks.
Dr Dubord said, “Thank you very much for your interest in my overseas work, please take this medicine and I look forward to seeing you in six months or prior to that if you have any troubles”.
The third time she came in for a follow-up with her Corneal Transplants, she said once more
“I would like to donate some money to your work overseas”. This comment by her twigged a memory that she’d mentioned this before.
We then entered a discussion on how important every donation was, big or small, to this work. The need was crucial and no one in the world was addressing the issue of Corneal Transplantation and Eye Banking in a comprehensive manner. After some discussion, I asked this retired Doctor” I don’t want to be crass but what size of donation are you considering?” “Six figures”, she said. “Six figures”.
Two weeks, later I met with her lawyers who agreed that she was willing to donate this money, but they had to give it to an organization [A registered charity] not an individual. This same statement had been made to me when exploring potential work with CIDA [Canadian International Development Agency] several months previously in India.
As a result, the Charity that became EyeSight International [ ESI] was founded. Since then, numerous donations both large and small have been given to ESI, to support the ongoing work of eliminating unnecessary and curable Corneal Blindness.
ESI’s accomplishments and outcomes have been way beyond what anyone expected them to be. ESI remains the only charity in the world that focuses exclusively on Eye Banking and Corneal Transplantation addressing the tens of millions of patients who are needlessly corneal blind.