Local doctor helps cure blindness in Belize

FAIRBANKS, Alaska - A local doctor, with the help of Fairbanks residents, helped to cure blindness in Belize.
"We guaranteed one cataract surgery for every rider, so that was 100 percent - exactly what we said it was going to be," said Dr. Katherine Johnson.
Dr. Katherine Johnson is one of the lead providers of ophthalmology at the locally run Mountain View Medical Center: Eye Center. Every year she doesn't just help Fairbanks residents improve their sight, but she travels to a remote location to help cure blindness for the Gift of Sight non-profit organization.
"We went down to Belize, went down to an origination down there who is on ground has a clinic and an operating room"
But Dr. Johnson doesn't completely pay for these trips out of pocket. She enlists the help of local cyclists to pay for the cost of cataract surgeries. For the past two years, Dr. Johnson has held a fundraiser, called Bike for Sight, where all the money from the registration fees goes towards her mission to cure those in need in countries with little to no medical resources.
"Everything that we did down there was all volunteer, so there was no charge to the patient for any of the surgeries we brought the surgical materials we use their OR which was donated by the organization, we brought our own post off drops," said Johnson.
Dr. Johnson's Surgical Coordinator, William Haight traveled to Belize, as well, contributing and witnessing the compassion involved in helping others.
"So much about patient care and just being compassionate and being around people in need. It is an amazing opportunity to make a huge impact on the lives of who have a need to help them with their vision," said Haight.
Next year, Dr. Johnson hopes to travel to Ghana with a larger crew of doctors to perform more cataract surgeries on those who need it the most.
This year's 'Bike for Sight' Fundraiser will be held this upcoming Saturday at the Mountain View Medical Center.