Catie’s Miracle commitment to helping those in need 

Stories | August 9, 2022

When 12-year-old Catie decided to support CBM’s annual Miracles Day, she wanted to go one step further than donating her pocket money. 

Catie decided that she would also wear an eye patch for a week, including to school, to understand the challenges experienced by people living with vision impairments, plus those in some of the poorest parts of the world.

“I’m wearing the eye patch to see what it’s like for people who are blind in one eye and the struggles they go through daily,” says Catie.

“I’m going to be wearing it for seven days, wearing it all day”. 

Catie is hoping to raise awareness among her family and her classmates, as well as funds for Miracles Day to provide sight-saving surgery to people in need. 

Miracles Day, now in its 10th year, raises money to provide safe and effective cataract surgery to people who can face permanent vision impairment from the problem. 

Although cataracts are both preventable and treatable, many people who experience them live in low-income or developing countries where they cannot access or afford treatment. 

As a result, cataracts are one of the leading causes of blindness worldwide. 

Catie was moved to provide Miracles after reading the story of Curtis Span, a young boy who cleaned rubbish bins and donated the money he earned for his hard work to Miracles Day last year. 

“I was inspired [seeing his story] that they helped people with disabilities. And I really wanted to be involved, and I thought it was very generous of them,” she says. 

With a backlog of urgent cataract surgeries required in several low-income countries due to the impact of COVID-19 lockdowns and restrictions, CBM is calling on all Australians to unite and dig deep to provide 52,000 sight-saving surgeries this year. 

Each Miracle costs just $33 – around the price of takeaway for two – and restores somebody’s sight, giving them a chance to lead a healthy and positive future. 

Catie hopes to contribute to a number of Miracles herself. As well as saving her pocket money for two months to donate two Miracles, she hopes the attention generated by her eye patch motivates others to donate 10 Miracles to mark the 10th anniversary of Miracles Day. 

A commitment to support those less fortunate than her is something close to Catie’s heart. The grade six student is one of two social justice leaders in her class, which involves thinking of ideas to raise money for organisations and causes such as the crisis in Ukraine. 

She expects that wearing an eye patch at school for a week will provide some difficulties: “I’ll need to try to focus on the school board because it’s very far away, but I’ll figure out a way. 

“It might be a struggle to try to play basketball with my friends, too”. 

But these challenges pale into insignificance compared to what people with untreated cataracts live with every day – which is why Miracles Day is a chance to transform lives for good. 

Miracles Day is on Thursday, August 18.

To transform a life for just $33 through the Miracle of sight-saving surgery, visit miraclesday.com.au or call 131 226. 

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