When their teacher had a baby born with cataracts, students from Heidi Giammona’s class at Sacred Heart School in Saratoga went into action. They studied the eye disease to learn more, and they campaigned for support to help others. Forty students, parents, and teachers from Saratoga arrived at the Koret Vision Research Laboratories to present a check to That Man May See for $14,000 to save the sight of vulnerable infants treated at UCSF. Baby Ryan and his mother are pictured with surgeon Alejandra de Alba, MD, MPH.
In the Mazzocco Surgical Suite, the students learned what surgery on tiny eyes is like as Dr. de Alba described the causes and treatment for pediatric cataracts. The first clinical trial to test the efficacy of operating on infant eyes for this condition was conducted at UCSF in 1982 by Dr. de Alba’s mentor, Creig Hoyt, MD. The research study turned the tide on blindness worldwide for millions of babies born with cataracts.