From a recent posting to the FitEyes mail list:
“I just want to say how grateful I am to have come upon this site. … the information you have amassed is amazing and has given me some hope in a bit of a scary time for me. The information … [posted]--in the form of research citings and personal experience is priceless.”
How many of us have shared this wave of gratitude in finding FitEyes -- an oasis where we each discover the foundations of healthy vision? I join Lisa in sharing my own personal gratitude. Indeed through FitEyes, my cup runneth over. That's why I volunteer my time to FitEyes.
It was a stroke of good fortune that Dr. Ritch introduced me to David, the founder of FitEyes, and to self-tonometry. And what a treasure trove, I, and thousands of us, have in FitEyes. I have a sense of bonding and connection to thousands of people. My gratitude for the steps I have taken goes to David who founded FitEyes in 2006 to share his observations and bring light to all our journeys.
Each of your thoughtful postings, your personal observations and experiences, your questions, and the lively conversations they inspire, empower us with knowledge about glaucoma, its treatment, what’s new, and what’s next. FitEyes’ topics are diverse and far ranging. From medicine to meditation, from self-tonometry to surgery, from allopathic to alternative approaches. We can get the details or the daily digest.
FitEyes is unique. We are community of patients. FitEyes lets us share our concerns and helps us develop, and explore with others, treatment and lifestyle changes that help us manage our glaucoma.
Over the last year FitEyes has launched an entirely new website; we have published new articles, which one top glaucoma specialist described as "covering everything important about glaucoma"; we have moved our mail list (our technology that allows you to read this message) to a brand new server that is twice as powerful; we have personally helped many people start self-tonometry and we have improved our supporting technology for these tonometer owners. These recent improvements cost over $150,000 (in actual cash expenditures). Over the last couple years the volume of postings to our mail list has increased over 400%; in the last year the number of members on our mail list has increased 50%. This growth attests to the urgent and compelling need for FitEyes.
To date everything has been made possible through donations from just a few individuals and thousands of hours of volunteer efforts from David, Mark, Jerry, Jay and others. It’s a labor of love. However, volunteer effors alone cannot keep FitEyes going. For example, sustaining and maintaining the technology infrastructure requires approximately $50,000 a year in real cash expenditures. Our full operating budget is substantially larger than this as we also pay staff members to provide support and assistance to you. (For example, even your requests for simple things such as assistance with passwords or changing email options are handled by a paid staff person and I know many of you would not be satisfied with anything less than the prompt and professional responses our staff is known for providing.)
We have dreams for enhancements to help FitEyes serve you even better. Unfortunately, those are not moving along as fast as they could if we had funding. In fact, I'm convinced that FitEyes could do things that no other organization in the world can do. We certainly have the expertise to do it and we have critical insights and experience that other similar organizations seem to be missing. FitEyes can accomplish things that will positively impact every glaucoma patient in the world, extending these benefits far beyond our members. But we cannot do any of that without your support.
FitEyes is solely user supported. We treasure our independence and our members’ freedom to express their opinions and to share personal experiences and do not want to be hampered by industry support. Now we have an urgent need to reach out to all of you to ensure the continuity of the FitEyes we count on, day after day and year after year. We truly need your financial contributions - to sustain and improve this vital resource.
Please help us so that we can continue to help you and thousands of others afflicted with glaucoma.
FitEyes’ survival depends on your generosity. Make a difference today! Stand up and be counted!
With gratitude and warm regards,