Meet Jim Hynes 

Photo Jim Hynes Everyday Hero

One morning Jim Hynes noticed the lower part of his right eye was blurry. By evening, he had lost the peripheral vision in that eye. Given that he was a relatively young man with perfect vision, “it still did not register that I should be concerned,” he says. When Jim woke the next morning and he had no vision in his right eye. He went to his local emergency department in St. John’s, where he expected a quick round of treatment would solve the problem. But what the doctors told him next would change his life forever.

Jim was diagnosed with nonarteric anterior ischemic optic neuropathy (NAION), an eye condition that results from a painless swelling of the optic nerve, causing a rapid reduction in vision. The ophthalmologist told him he would not regain the vision in his right eye, and that it was possible he would lose the vision in his left eye within five years. He later learned that very few cases of this rapidly-progressing eye condition result in the kind of vision loss he had experienced.

After much research on the condition Jim found himself at the Mason Eye Institute at the University of Missouri where he participated in a research study exploring a promising new drug treatment for NAION. When the treatment didn’t work for him, Jim returned home wondering what life would have in store for him. Even though the drug treatment did not work for him, he realized how fortunate he was to have the resources that allowed him to explore other options. He found himself wondering about those who were not as fortunate as he was and that led him to the doors of CNIB.

“All of a sudden, my whole life focused on vision loss and more importantly what I could do to make a difference.” Jim definitely considered himself to be one of the lucky ones and he wanted to share that with others. “As they say at CNIB, Vision loss is a tragedy; living with vision loss doesn’t have to be.”

Jim’s new mission in life is to help CNIB sustain the important programs and services they provide. “I am so excited about being a ‘CNIB Everyday Hero’ and I am looking forward to sharing not only my personal experience with vision loss, but to share the knowledge that there is an organization right here whose mission is to enhance the independence of people, like me, experiencing vision loss, and to promote vision health in the hope of reducing the numbers of people at risk.

You know, I had always believed that you had to be totally blind to go to CNIB and I thought it was totally funded by government. In both assumptions, I have discovered I am wrong. CNIB has to raise over 50% of its funding to sustain or grow existing programs and services and they are there for all Canadians who want to know about vision health and vision loss.”

As spokesperson for the Everyday Hero Campaign, Jim says he is calling on his friends and business associates to help meet the needs of those living with vision loss in this province, and to create top of mind awareness about the importance of vision health. “CNIB was there for me, and with the help of the Everyday Hero Campaign, CNIB will always be there. Jim Hynes video.

If you would like to help Jim and be an Everyday Hero follow this link.
I want to be an Everyday Hero

For more information contact:
Deborah Wearn
P. 709-754-1180, ext. 224
E. deborah.wearn@cnib.ca