With great pride, Boreas announces our third Ambassador of Awesome, Dr. Thomas (Tom) Tayeri: ophthalmologist, mountaineer, and champion of fellow man. A few of us here at Boreas have climbed Mount Shasta and Mount Whitney with Tom. Impressed by his unending energy, enthusiasm for community, and commitment to doing good we interviewed him as he is the essence of what it means to be #awesome.
I had the distinct pleasure of talking with the good doctor about his non-profit, the Fiat Lux Foundation, their efforts to raise 4 million for the Rwanda International Institute of Ophthalmology, and how he came about combining his passions to better our global community.
To say that Dr. Tom Tayeri has a full plate would be an understatement. Currently, he has is founder and CEO of his own practice, Adjunct Assistant Clinical Professor of Ophthalmology at Stanford, Director at the Fiat Lux Foundation, husband and father of three to name a few off of the list. All in a days work!
Dr Tayeri’s journey started in 2003 taking his first trip to Kenya giving medical attention to the underserved and climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. Every year since, Tom has done a volunteer trip fundraising for his mission along the way landing him in places such as India and Rwanda bringing vision to hundreds of well-deserving patients.
The past year in Rwanda, Dr. Tayeri assisted in performing the first glaucoma and cataract operations ever performed within the country. It’s hard to believe that some countries do not have access to these types of procedures but with 11 ophthalmologists for 11 million people (and only 4 surgeons), that would be 2 million eye balls for each doctor to work with—no easy feat.
The Fiat Lux Foundation, comprised of Dr. Tayeri and friends was formulated to combate these types of issues and is currently raising funds (4 million dollars to be exact) to help build an eye hospital, residency-training program and eye bank in Kigali, Rwanda — the Rwanda International Institute of Ophthalmology (RIIO). Once established, the project will become self-sustaining and will not rely on external funding or expertise. The emerging regional eye center aims to deliver quality comprehensive eye care for Rwanda and other parts of east and central Africa. The institute is based on a model that was successfully developed at the LV Prasad Eye Institute in India.
So, can 4 million in one year be done? “Of course it can,” Tom said.
All in a days work, indeed.
Are you sitting there wishing you could do more? Well, you can! Check out more information on the Rwanda International Institute of Ophthalmology and learn more about the Fiat Lux Foundation. Join the cause and/or donate here. Help us spread the word!