March 12, 2013

New treatment for patients with severe dry eye to benefit from annual March Hoops to Beat Blindness event

Brendan as a toddler
Brendan Hepner

ANN ARBOR, MI – Patients who suffer from severe dry eye, often a result of cancer or complex corneal disease, have a new treatment option. It's called PROSE (prosthetic replacement of the ocular surface ecosystem) and it's a custom-made removable prosthetic device—similar to a contact lens—that continuously bathes the eye in artificial tears. March Hoops to Beat Blindness (MHBB) organizer Myron Hepner chose to dedicate proceeds from this year's event to the PROSE Clinic at Kellogg, one of a few academic medical centers in the country to offer this innovative treatment.

On March 21 and 22, Mr. Hepner will collect "pledges" while he watches every game of the first round of the NCAA Men's College Basketball Tournament at a new location: Pizza House at 618 Church Street in Ann Arbor. The restaurant also will donate a portion of its dining receipts to the fundraiser during the two-day event. Since its inception in 2007, MHBB has raised more than $36,000 to improve vision care at Kellogg.

The PROSE Clinic is headed by Karen S. DeLoss, O.D., who works closely with Kellogg's cornea specialists to determine which patients will benefit most from PROSE treatment. Dr. DeLoss—who completed a fellowship at the Boston Foundation for Sight where PROSE was developed—custom designs each device to achieve optimal fit and comfort level for the patient. The device creates a smooth surface over the damaged cornea and the artificial tears provide lubrication and support transfer of a healthy supply of oxygen to the cornea. It also supports healing and reduces the disabling symptoms of pain and light sensitivity.

Mr. Hepner is passionate about supporting Kellogg after his son, Brendan, was treated for retinoblastoma—a cancer of the eye—when he was only 9 months old. Brendan is now a healthy 10-year-old who returns to Kellogg for annual checkups and his father created MHBB to thank the Kellogg doctors who treated his son.

You can donate to MHBB 2013 in the following ways:

  1. Visit and complete the online donation form.
  2. Visit Pizza House and request that your dining receipt go toward the fundraiser. Over the two-day event, Pizza House will contribute 15 percent of all dining receipts to the fundraiser.


Written by Aimee Bergquist


Last Modified: Monday, 28-Mar-2016 13:14:57 EDT