NORTH CONWAY, NH – Conway Area Lions’ President Linda Rafferty and other Lions’ members recently presented a donation of $2,200 to the Miranda Leavitt Diabetes Fund, part of the Memorial Hospital Foundation. The funds will support a soon to be launched service that will help bring better eye health to diabetic patients in the community.
“We are pleased to apply the Lions’ donation to the purchase of a retinal scanner to be used for diabetic eye exams,” said Miranda Center’s Justine Fierman, APRN-FNP, BC-ADM, MSN, CDE. “This will help us do a better job diagnosing diabetic retinopathy. When it begins, a person may have no symptoms at all or have just slight vision changes. This makes early detection of diabetic retinopathy so important because it often goes unnoticed until a person loses their vision. So many patients cannot afford or do not have access to this type of exam. Establishing this service at Memorial will be a great asset to our community.”
More information on the retinal scanner and how it will help improve diabetic eye health will be announced in November, which is Diabetes Awareness Month.
The Miranda Leavitt Diabetes Fund was established in 2013 in honor of Miranda Leavitt, daughter of Rich and Brenda Leavitt, who established a fund to provide resources, education and awareness for people with diabetes in our community. Miranda passed away at the age of 22 from diabetes complications but left as her legacy her desire to help educate, assist and fund those who needed assistance managing their diabetes.
Brenda Leavitt stated: “We are grateful to the Conway Area Lions Club for their generous donation and work to raise money to support the Miranda Fund. We feel this is a wonderful alignment with the mission of the Lions Club which is to support eye health. Rich and I also feel so very blessed for the people in our community who continue to graciously support the fundraising efforts that we do for the Miranda Leavitt Diabetes Fund. I am so excited to be able to show all of the donors that we have something tangible to let everyone know their donation is so appreciated—so many people will have their needs met.”
The Lions raised the money in their annual kayak raffle. Tickets were sold around Mt. Washington Valley throughout the summer months. Lions Clubs International is the world’s largest service club organization.
In 1925, Helen Keller attended the Lions Clubs International Convention and challenged Lions to become "knights of the blind in the crusade against darkness,” explained Linda Rafferty, president of Conway Area Lions Club. “The Lions accepted her challenge and our work ever since has included sight programs aimed at preventable blindness.”
Community members interested in donating in support of the purchase of the retinal scanner and the Miranda Fund are encouraged to contact Rachel Damon, Memorial Hospital Development Manager, at 603-356-5461, x2269. For more information on the Miranda Center, including how to make a donation to the Miranda Fund, visit them online at www.memorialhospitalnh.org/diabetes.
About Memorial Hospital
Memorial Hospital is a not-for-profit 25-bed Critical Access Hospital located in North Conway, NH, and is a member of the MaineHealth family. Its hospital services include a 24-hour emergency department, surgery center, clinical laboratory, heart health & wellness programs, family birthing center, sleep center, oncology, chemotherapy and infusion services and the Miranda Center for Diabetes. Physician practices include primary care and family medicine, women's health, orthopedics and sports medicine. The Merriman House, a 45-bed nursing home specializing in Alzheimer's and other memory disorders, is also located on the hospital campus. Together, our staff and providers are committed to meeting the health needs of the Mt. Washington Valley and surrounding communities by collaborating with community partners in the delivery of accessible, comprehensive, compassionate, and quality health care.