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Joy Again

Bobbi Mauldin - a patient's letter

PROSE patient with GVHD Bobbi

December 2012

Dear Boston Foundation for Sight,

The introduction of PROSE into my life was not as dramatic as some of the stories I’ve read, but no less profound for me. Friends ask ‘how do you like your new devices?’ or ‘are you glad you went to all that trouble?’. When the answer is a simple ‘I can see and my eyes don’t hurt’, it doesn’t begin to convey the impact they have had on my life.

In Spring of 2006 I was diagnosed with a rare form of bone marrow cancer, MDS, caused in part by very aggressive treatment for breast cancer several years earlier. The disease is cured only with a stem cell/bone marrow transplant and I was one of the fortunate people who found a match and am cancer free! One of the major side effects of a transplant is Graft vs. Host disease, which causes an auto-immune response in the body and most commonly causes extreme dry eyes.

I learned of PROSE during the BMT InfoNet Survivors Symposium in Atlantic, GA in the summer of 2011. When I attended the session on ocular chronic graft versus host disease (GVHD) that was lead by Dr. Deborah Jacobs I knew immediately that PROSE treatment was for me.

One of the biggest issues of my disease was distichiasis, where abnormal fine lashes grow in the lid margins and rub against the cornea. Now that the devices shield my eyes from the tiny lashes, the pain relief has been profound and the threat of ulcerated corneas — something I have had twice in the past — is no longer a threat. Also, over time the production of lashes has slowed greatly.

Now the simple things like gardening on a bright, breezy day or taking my dog for a walk on a blustery winter afternoon are a joy again! On my most recent trip to Boston I made a new friend, Aimee. Late in the afternoon of her second fitting day she came back into the patient gathering room, looked at me and smiled (with her eyes open wide) and said ‘let’s go outside!’. That is the best!

One other thing I will share…I recently visited my transplant doctors, the Bone Marrow Transplant Group at Northside Hospital in Atlanta, GA. They have the distinction of having the highest survival rate for transplant patients nationally. The head doctor in the group spoke at the BMT Symposium where I met Dr. Jacobs. They did not know about PROSE treatment — but they do now!

Sincerely,

Dorothy (Bobbi) Mauldin

p.s. This week is my one year PROSE anniversary! Enclosed is my contribution for $1,000 in appreciation of the great care that you have provided. Thank you!

Download a PDF of this letter.