ESSILOR VISION FOUNDATION HAS A BRUSH WITH FAME
The Eye Ninja gives back with the foundation’s Changing Life through Lenses® program
DALLAS, TEXAS – August 30, 2021 – Jon Bundy, OD, may not be a household name, but chances are many people are familiar with his alter ego, The Eye Ninja. Dr. Bundy appeared on NBC’s “American Ninja Warrior” in June and was also on the show in 2019. His dedication to his ninja training matches his dedication to eye care and providing critical vision care to people who otherwise would not get it. That’s why he participates in Essilor Vision Foundation’s (EVF) Changing Life through Lenses® program. Changing Life through Lenses provides a free pair of glasses, including lenses, frame and lab services, when an eye doctor gives a vision exam to a person in need.
Giving back matters
When asked why he gives back, Dr. Bundy replies, “Because I can. I have a passion to make the world a better place because I was in it, and I want the people I encounter to feel their life was better because I was part of it. When I look back at the end of my life, one of the things I’ll be happiest about is that I helped others see, even those who couldn’t afford it.”
Dr. Bundy believes it’s important for eye doctors to remember how an eye exam and a pair of glasses can change someone’s life – especially someone who cannot access or afford vision care. “Because we do this every day, we become accustomed to it and we forget what a gift and privilege it is to be able to help others.”
Dr. Bundy uses Changing Life through Lenses for his philanthropic work in the U.S. because it helps eye doctors overcome obstacles to serving patients in need. “We all have barriers on why we can’t help or do more, such as time, energy, money, and expertise. This program takes away one of the biggest barriers which is how we will pay to help a lot of people instead of a single person here and there. Now we can help whoever needs it.” He’s enthusiastic about EVF’s recently launched Changing Life through Lenses® (CLTL) Relief Fund. Eye doctors who enroll and provide vision services to eligible charitable patients* can receive up to $1,500. The campaign runs through December 31, 2021.
Make eye health a priority
Part of Dr. Bundy’s charitable work happens overseas (Changing Life through Lenses is only available in the U.S.). He remembers one young boy he examined in Cambodia in 2018. “His family thought he was severely mentally challenged – honestly – and his kindergarten teachers were going insane trying to get him to pay attention,” he explains. “Turns out he simply couldn’t see. I saw him again two years ago and he was a foot taller and passing his exams with flying colors. I get teared up thinking about him and how unbelievably changed his life has been because of his glasses.”
Dr. Bundy started wearing glasses himself in high school. “I went to the eye doctor when I was 17 because I knew I couldn’t see clearly,” he says. “But little ones can’t tell they have a vision problem, and this can really impact how they do in school. School is hard enough but it’s really hard when you can’t see well. Removing barriers to performance is key.”
Another chance to hit the buzzer
Dr. Bundy’s appearance on “American Ninja Warrior” hasn’t had too much of an impact on him professionally, although he does admit some of his patients ask him why he fell so early on the course (he fell on the fourth obstacle which put him in the top half of the competitors). Even though he didn’t complete the course, Dr. Bundy hopes to try again. “I will apply to be on ‘American Ninja Warrior’ again. It’s very difficult to be invited back but I would love another shot at the world’s greatest jungle gym.” Either way, he will continue to use Changing Life through Lenses to make a difference for patients in need.
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About Essilor Vision Foundation
We strive to give children a brighter future by helping them see the world more clearly. Since 2007, Essilor Vision Foundation has provided more than 1.5 million pairs of eyeglasses to individuals in need. Essilor Vision Foundation is a 501(c)(3) public, non-profit organization committed to eliminating poor vision and its lifelong consequences. To learn more visit www.evfusa.org.
*Eligible patients are those at or around the poverty level without insurance for this pair of glasses as reasonably determined by the provider.
Contact: Meredith Marmurek