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In My Own Words: Aiyanna Beltran

Meet Aiyanna Beltran, a college student living with keratoconus. She shares her diagnosis story and encouragement for other people living with KC:
“Hi everyone! My name is Aiyanna Beltran. I am a twenty-two-year-old cybersecurity major and Boricua from New York. I was diagnosed with KC when I was about 15 years old. I went to the eye doctor because I wanted hazel-colored contacts. After many tests, I remember my doctor saying, “We have bigger fish to fry,” little did I know he was right. Since my diagnosis, I have received cross-linking’s on both eyes as recommended (in different years). After receiving cross-linking on my most dominant eye and not seeing the same post-recovery, my world felt like it turned upside down. I’m currently on a scleral lens journey. I’ve traveled an hour away for regular eye appointments, and after many trials of scleral lenses, I was told by the doctor that it was the best that they could do, fit and script-wise.
Having KC is like balancing between a fine line. It’s sometimes hard to discern if the decrease in vision is your new reality or if it is just the best that this doctor could do. Soon I will be traveling to Bascom Palmer Eye Institute in Miami, FL, hoping to receive scleral lenses that fit and allow me to see better. KC comes with a hefty cost. KC can make you feel anxious. KC can make you feel depressed. KC makes things difficult. KC can take away enjoyable moments. KC is full of uncertainty. My advice to all is to prioritize your health, especially your eyes. Educate yourself and others about this disease. If you’re in college, look into special accommodations. And remember, although all this is true about KC, this is also true – you are a warrior with purpose and unlimited potential.
My goal is to spread awareness of KC to all and educate others as I continue to educate myself.
Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18”