The Mission in the News

Jan 20, 2014

A New World for Mission Guest: 'I can see'

For the first time in her life, Diana Dubanski can see clearly.

Diana, 55, a guest in the Mission’s Women’s Crisis Center, has worn glasses since she was 3. In the past four years, steadily worsening cataracts left her legally blind in her right eye and with decreasing vision in her left.

“It was like looking through a gauze curtain,” she says. “The doctor said it was the worst cataract he ever saw.”

The doctor was local opthalmic surgeon Dr. Edward Yavitz, who performed cataract surgery on Diana’s right eye last Friday at St. Anthony Medical Center. In cataract surgery, the damaged natural lens is replaced with an artificial one and vision is restored. The surgery was arranged with the help of Kathy Perry, a licensed practical nurse, and others at Crusader Community Health, where Diana is a patient. Crusader has helped Diana receive disability benefits she’s eligible for, and also to receive OSF Charity Assistance.

All of which made last Friday possible.

“They told me it might take two or three days before I could see clearly,” she says. “I could see immediately.”

In about a month, Diana will have the other eye done. Her new sight signifies much more. She’s been at Women’s Crisis since July, the result of several housing circumstances beyond her control. Once she has the other eye repaired, she plans to find a job and a place to live in Freeport.

“I love these women who take care of us here,” she says of the Women’s Crisis staff. “As long as you’re working to achieve your goals – when they realize that you’re trying – they will bend over backwards and do everything they can to help you. You just have to be willing to help yourself, too.”

Meantime, Diana is discovering a world she’s never experienced.

“I feel awesome,” she says. “I can see.”