Marlon's Story

A young child given a second chance


Only three years old, Marlon García Juarez became upset and frustrated as he knocked into the objects around him. As he unintentionally ran into his young friends, Marlon let the familiar exasperated cry out of his body. All Marlon wished to do was play with his friends without fear of seriously injuring himself. His biggest wish: to live without the intrepid fear of always second guessing where he places his foot, or when to turn around the corner, or who is moving towards him.



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Marlon and mother



As one of three siblings, his mother María noticed a white spot on his eye one day. She brought him to their local hospital in the northern coastal area of Peru, where they were referred to an institute in Castilla, Piura.


It was here that María learned her young child was not just a clumsy toddler. He had cataracts in his left eye and his vision was gradually turning into a thick cloud.


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Marlon eye exam


Now Maria knew what was wrong with her son, but what could she do to help him? During this time, HelpMeSee and Instituto Damos Vision launched a new campaign with support from USAID's Child Blindness Programme to screen for pediatric cataracts in Peru, using HelpMeSee's Reach App to locate and identify patients like Marlon.




With help from relatives, his mother raised enough money for transportation to Instituto Damos Vision in Lima. Once there Marlon received surgery to his left eye, and in just a few minutes the cataract causing him so much hardship was removed.



After returning home, Marlon’s mother was one step closer to getting her wish - for her son to lead a normal, healthy life.



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Marlon smile



Thanks to support from USAID's Child Blindness Programme and HelpMeSee's generous donors, Marlon was able to get the treatment he needed. But there are many more like him in Peru and across Latin America who are still in need of treatment. We need your support to help children like Marlon grow up with a bright future - give them the gift of sight today!