A Yellowknife man is over $20,000 closer to a treatment he says could save his eyesight thanks to a GoFundMe.com campaign.
Shahin Moslehi, 32, is a naturopathic doctor who has retinitis pigmentosa, a degenerative eye disease. He can only detect a small amount of light in his left eye and his vision is deteriorating in the right.
He's trying to raise $35,000 to receive treatment at the Sreedhareeyam Ayurvedic Eye Hospital in India, where he's had successful treatments before. According to Moslehi, he needs to go to India, because he's run out of options in Canada.
"The doctors have now said 'there's nothing, there's no more treatment that we have available for you and it's a wait and see,'" Moslehi said.
Sreedhareeyam uses Ayurvedic medicine. Ayurvedic medicine originated in India more than 3,000 years ago and its concepts "promote the use of herbal compounds, special diets, and other unique health practices," according to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health.
Between the ages of 20 and 26, Moslehi said he received treatment at Sreedhareeyam and experienced "sustained improvement." His vision has remained fairly stable up until about a year ago, but it's been degenerating ever since.
"Every day waking up, you just don't know if ... you're not going to be able to see clearly and/or not be able to see at all," he said.
But Moslehi can't afford to get to India and pay the treatment on his own, so he turned to GoFundMe. He was apprehensive to make his story public and ask for help, but said he recognizes that he "needed to ask and just be vulnerable and speak out."
Moslehi started the fundraiser on Nov. 11 and as of Nov. 16 has raised over $20,000. He said he's been touched and surprised by the response.
"It's just been so overwhelming and incredible. I remember just the Saturday when I posted it I couldn't stop crying," he said.
As for the results of the treatment, "there is no guarantee to reverse anything," Moslehi said. "But the guarantee is to stop the continued degeneration from happening."