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Published 10:19 pm Thursday, March 22, 2018

Whether it’s cataracts, glaucoma or some other condition, eye diseases can rob their victims of everything that’s important in life.

Seeing grandkids’ faces, experiencing Suffolk’s natural beauty, reading a good book, even being productive at a career or around the house and yard — the ability to do all of these things disappears when sight fails.

Perhaps most cruel about the loss of sight is that often, the victim feels fine otherwise. They can breathe well; they have energy; they don’t have many aches or pains that would prevent them from moving around and doing the things they love to do. But their eyesight essentially makes them an invalid, despite the fact they are otherwise perfectly healthy for their age.

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Fortunately, Virginia Eye Consultants, which has an office on Pruden Boulevard here in Suffolk, started doing free eye surgeries once a year, starting with its 50th anniversary a few years ago.

“It’s just a way of giving back to the community,” said Karen Spencer, chief executive officer. “It is such a rewarding event for the staff and surgeons.”

The annual event has helped more than 200 patients during the past five years, Spencer said.

Nominations are now being accepted for the free surgeries, and more information is available at 390-4202 or virginiaeyeconsultants.com.

Good corporate neighbors are an integral part of any community, and we appreciate Virginia Eye Consultants’ commitment to this program. We sincerely hope anyone in Suffolk who has need for corrective surgery and is unable to pay for it will be able to receive it.