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She had glaucoma but didn't know until it was spotted during a vision test offered to adult students

Moorpark Adult School student Rosa Arano had a free eye test through a Conejo Valley non-profit and it saved her vision
Caroline Feraday
Moorpark Adult School student Rosa Arano had a free eye test through a Conejo Valley non-profit and it saved her vision

Having a free eye test probably saved Moorpark Adult School student Rosa Arano's sight.

Rosa Arano is holding her brand new pair of eye glasses. She's an adult student at the Moorpark Adult School. Her first language is Spanish, and she's learning English.

She had been living with headaches but dismissed her symptoms as part of the stresses and strains of studying while working and raising a family. But what Rosa didn't know was she was suffering from a condition which could have left her blind — glaucoma.

Glaucoma is a disease that damages the eye's optic nerve and could have caused her to suffer vision loss or blindness.

A vision test, as part of a program from the Assistance League of Conejo Valley for low income individuals, flagged up the problem. Rita Phillips from the nonprofit picks up the story.

"My vision program is to assist adults who cannot afford or do not have vision insurance, so they go to the optometrist. They can have a vision exam and we pay for that. They need glasses? We pay for that. They also have a selection of frames at no cost to them, and basically the patient has no cost. And then they get glasses and it improves their lives," said Phillips.

Phillips received a phone call from the optometrist who said, 'You have to do this right now'. So I got on the phone and I found her an appointment right away.

Arano managed to get treatment but while the eye test costs were covered, her condition wasn't.

The principal of Moorpark Adult School, Sean Abajian surprises Arano with the cash to pay for it, thanks to a bake sale fundraiser which was run by her fellow students.

Arano is overwhelmed, removing her new eye glasses to wipe tears from her eyes.

Abajian explains how the school rallied around her.

"It was determined by one of the optometrists that she had a more serious issue that needed to be attended to right away. And so working with Rita from the Assistance League, we were able to help her get an appointment. And the only issue was that this was an ophthalmologist and the Assistance League doesn't cover ophthalmology visits, so this meant almost $300 out of pocket for the student," he said.

"So what we did was our culinary arts program made some delicious pies and we had a big sale for some of our students and even some of the staff," he said.

It was that one eye test that saved Arano's sight.

Caroline joined KCLU in October 2020. She won LA Press Club's Audio Journalist of the Year Award in 2022 and 2023.

Since joining the station she's won 7 Golden Mike Awards, 4 Los Angeles Press Club Awards and 2 National Arts & Entertainment Awards.

She started her broadcasting career in the UK, in both radio and television for BBC News, 95.8 Capital FM and Sky News and was awarded the Prince Philip Medal for her services to radio and journalism in 2007.

She has lived in California for ten years and is both an American and British citizen - and a very proud mom to her daughter, Elsie.