Half of all the blind people in the world could regain their sight tomorrow. With various medical and surgical advancements within the field, millions of children and adults who are blind today can take as little as five-to-fifteen minutes to improve their lives and gain their ability to see tomorrow. But due to unfortunate socio-economical stances, 99% of the 20 million children and adults who are blind today will never receive this surgery. Much of this can be reflected on the under-resourced and under-developed areas that these individuals have to endure. With that being said, the overall mission for HelpMeSee is to make the miracle of sight a tangible possibility for every blind child and adult in the world who needs this surgery.
For help me see, they thrive on their global campaign to ‘Eliminate Blindness,’ which is usually caused by untreated cataracts. Approximately 20 million people are bilaterally blind due to cataract, and an estimated 82 million suffer from cataract visual impairment. The vast majority of these people live in developing third-world countries, where a lack of access to high‐quality service prevents them from undergoing a simple surgery that could restore their vision. According to a recently published Rand Health study, cataract blindness will increase to 32 million by 2020, costing the world GDP about $1 trillion each year.
To address this global health crisis, the nonprofit organization, HelpMeSee was founded in 2010 with the goal of making cataract surgery possible for every blind child and adult in the world. Their goal is to deliver very low cost, high-quality Manual Small Incision Cataract Surgeries (MSICS) to millions of patients in the developing world. Since 2012, the campaign has supported over 227,000 sight-restoring surgeries through over 240 partnerships across 9 countries.
Building on this record of success, HelpMeSee plans to increase our work exponentially over the next five years. Once the simulator is in operation, we will expand our reach to additional countries throughout Africa, Asia, and Latin America. HelpMeSee will train 1,680 MSICS specialists by 2017, enabling them to perform 1 million surgical procedures with HelpMeSee support.
Matt Kupec’s Contributions to the Team
With a strong background in higher education and nonprofit fundraising, Matt Kupec felt that he can be an valuable asset in aiding HelpMeSee’s efforts and goals in eliminating global blindness as their Vice President of Development and Marketing.
“We are very pleased to gain the services of such a recognized and successful fundraiser as Matt Kupec to the HelpMeSee team,” said Jacob Mohan Thazhathu, president & CEO, HelpMeSee. “We are delighted that he is bringing his expertise, talents, and most importantly his passion to us to achieve our goal of bringing vision to all 20 million people world-wide who suffer from cataract blindness.”
Co-founder and chairman, Jim Ueltschi and Jacob Mohan Thazhathu has also expressed their deep appreciation to Matt’s contributions to the nonprofit organization. But as much as they are thrilled to have him, Matt is incredibly passionate and invested in working with them in achieving their overarching goals. Matt states, “HelpMeSee has an ambitious goal of eliminating cataract blindness around the globe by providing access to treatment to the poorest people on earth. This organization is using very sophisticated simulation technology and courseware to train thousands of cataract specialists. It is very exciting to be part of such a global health campaign focused on a cure. I have been privileged to lead the fundraising operations at two great universities – the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Hofstra University – HelpMeSee presents a unique challenge and a wonderful opportunity to apply my skills.”
Having an incredibly well-diverse and experienced background in fundraising, Matt believes this type of work is a testament to his values and personal beliefs. With his leadership, he feels that he can raise the both the problem of untreated cataract blindness and the solution to HelpMeSee’s mission. Matt will focus on building a world class organization dedicated to generating strong and abiding relationships with our donors until blindness caused by cataract becomes history.