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Help Karen see and hear again.
$2,167 raised
22% of $10k goal
56 contributors
82 Weeks running

Hi, I’m Karen Lewellen.

Growing up legally blind, the doctors told me there was nothing they could do for me. I struggled, but was determined not to let any obstacle stop me from showing brilliance and creativity.

The list of things people told me I couldn’t do was a long one – but I could sing, and I started rewriting the melodies of misery with music. My voice did what nothing else could do for me: challenge the stereotypes others held of me, and help me connect and bond with people.

The Problem

Then, in 1992, during an eye surgery I was given too much anaesthetic, which caused a slight stroke. I started having trouble understanding speech, and difficulties speaking clearly myself.

I could not properly talk to people, let alone make music.                                        

My vision worsened due to unexplained scar tissue. A 2003 diagnosis from NYU Medical Center showed that the effects of the damage to my brain worsen with stress. Factor in a rape, a bout of homelessness, and the death of my father – one of the few people to love me unconditionally -- and you may understand how stressful my life became. My conditioned worsened. 

The Solution  

New medical advances are giving me hope that I will see and hear again. The science is called Neural Plasticity, and you can read more about the success stories here:

  David Suzuki’s show on CBC, The Nature of Things, did an episode on this ground-breaking work. You can watch it here:    

How it Works  

This medical treatment that will heal my eyes uses laser light to train the brain that it doesn’t need to produce scar tissue behind my eyes, which impairs my vision.  

Dr. David Weber, who I hope to work with, cured his legal blindness using a Neural Plasticity technique called the Feldenkrais Method. He now sees with 20/20 vision! You can read about his success, here:  

For my hearing, I will work with Paul Madaule of The Listening Centre, who uses another Neural Plasticity technique to successfully treat auditory disorders. His treatment was also covered in the book, The Brain’s Way of Healing , and the CBC’s Nature of Things .  


I Need Your Help to See and Hear Again   

I am raising $10,000 to cover the cost of treatment:

  •          $3,000 for Paul Madaule’s treatment at the Listening Centre, to improve my hearing.
  •          $3,000 for Dr. Kahn’s laser therapy treatment , to reverse scar tissue and re-stimulate damaged nerves, to improve my sight.
  •          $2,000 for Dr. Weber’s help with the Feldenkrais Method, also to improve my vision.
  •          $2,000 to cover the cost of my recovery, and for time to allow my body to heal.


I am fortunate that all three of these treatment options are within 25 minutes of my home in Toronto.  

Once healed I intend to once again use my music and storytelling to guide as many people as I can to a deeper understanding of what we have in common, and a greater appreciation of the ways we can defy our perceived limitations!  

You can listen to samples of my music here:

  I am asking for your donation of $10 or more to help me see and hear again .

 Will you open the door to conversations for me? Will you please help me appreciate sunsets, oceans, faces and films, moonlight and mountains once more?

 Please take a moment to share my fundraising page with other generous souls.

 Thank you for your kindness!

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