Oregon State Elks Eyes Annual Appeal

Dear Fellow Elks, The Oregon State Elks provide Oregon’s children with the facilities for the best pediatric eye care in the region, possibly the nation. Thanks to your continued generosity, we now provide over 18,000 patient visits per year at the Elks Children’s Eye Clinic. With Elks Support, the vision screening program has screened over 8,000 preschool children this year. Elks from every district of the state volunteered to assist with community health fairs and Head Start screenings. Your state project is truly one to be proud of. The daily miracles that occur at the Elks Children’s Eye Clinic would not be possible without thousands of donors and volunteers who give time, money, talent and love. I hope you’ll join me and your fellow Elks in supporting our major project. To donate online, please click the yellow “Donate” button. Warmest wishes for a happy holiday season, Herm Blum President, Oregon State Elks Association
Dear Oregon Elks,
Piper in her first pair of glasses

It was our family’s sincere honor and pleasure to be included in the annual Elks summer convention this last April. We are deeply grateful for your continued support for the Elks Children’s Eye Clinic, as it has played a large role in our daughter, Piper’s, health and quality of life.

  Piper, now 2 years old, was diagnosed with Williams Syndrome when she was 3 weeks old. Williams Syndrome (WS) is a genetic condition that is present at birth and can affect anyone. There are approximately 30,000 individuals with WS that live in the U.S. The syndrome is characterized by medical problems, including cardiovascular disease, developmental delays, and learning challenges. These often occur side by side with striking verbal abilities, highly social personalities and an affinity for music. As we in the WS community like to say, our children have “extraordinary gifts and unique challenges.  
Piper right before her surgery with Dr, Karr in February of 2018
One of those challenges involves poor eyesight and strabismus (crossed eyes). We noticed early on that Piper’s eyes were crossed and continued to worsen as she grew. It actually took many months to secure an appointment due to the high volume of pediatric patients needing to be seen at the clinic. Once examined, our first course of action was to try glasses to correct the crossing. It was thanks to an Elk’s program that we were able to get Piper an affordable first pair of Elks Mira Flex glasses when she was 7 months old. Oh my, she was so cute in her new glasses! Unfortunately the glasses were not enough to correct the crossing, so in February 2018, Dr. Karr performed bilateral surgery. It was a scary time for us.  Williams Syndrome children undergoing general anesthesia have an elevated risk of sudden death under anesthesia, so we had to be sure that specific precautions were in place requiring careful planning and coordination with specialists not usually needed.   At first Piper’s eye crossing was fully corrected and she was thrilled with her new aligned vision. However, a month later we noticed her right eye started to cross again. Although we were disappointed, we knew this was a possibility given her syndrome.  We are now awaiting a second surgery in early 2019. In the meantime, Piper patches her left eye to keep the right eye functioning. She loves picking out her daily patch!
Piper visited Mickey in October 2018
On behalf of Piper and our whole family, we are so grateful and thankful for the world-class care we receive at the Elks Children’s Eye Clinic. Your continued support makes this possible.     Thank you! Todd & Jenny-Anne Gifford