March 29, 2012
The charity that I'm writing to you about is the National Keratoconus Foundation. My name is Dan Rinaldi and I never realized that there was a couple of procedures out there to help me, until I came across this website. I'm a Providence, RI firefighter and I'm the type of person that you'd have on a website as far as testimonials, because I've had a lot of exposure as a firefighter and it would give any non-profit audience of over a million career and volunteer firefighters around the country. I'm also an amateur competitive cook. I was voted the best firefighter cook in America from 2002-2004 by Tabasco and the Food Network. I've been on the Food Network several times as well as: The Rossie O'Donnell Show, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Live with Regis&Kelly and the Today Show. I've also received 13 department medals with the Providence Fire Department, one of the busiest fire departments in the country, for rescues that I've made. I was also a member of FEMA's Urban Search And Rescue Task Force out of this region(MATF-1), but I had to resign due to my condition. We could be deployed anywhere in the world at any time and having an eye disability wasn't safe for me or the rest of the task force. It's kind of like having a Navy SEAL with one good eye, it just doesn't happen. I'm only 43 and I didn't want to retire from the job that I've committed my life to. That's where this website came in and I've had it's links put on a bunch of firefighter websites. I've gone through with the surgery for my condition since seeing and education myself with this site. I'm happy to say that I had my one month follow up visit this week and my vision went from continually deterioration to not only being stabilized, but actually reversing. My vision started out at 20/400 and I'm now at 20/100 and I still have eleven months of healing with continued improvements expected. I put a couple of website links below so that you can see the real impact this site has had on me as well as the people that I will continue to save for the next 18 years on the fire department. http://www.wpri.com/dpp/on_air/street_stories/street-stories-providence-firefighter-keratoconus-dan-rinaldi-recipe-winner http://www.wpri.com/dpp/on_air/street_stories/street-stories-update-recipe-for-cure-for-firefighter
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MY ROLE:General Member of the Public