Jake and Emily Davis

“The day after the surgery, she started walking.”

Photo: Anne Fishbein

When Jake and Emily Davis were born back in the early 1990s, both were soon diagnosed with congenital cataracts.

That was tough, because at the time their dad, Kirk Davis, had no health insurance, and he had no idea how he’d be able to get them the surgery they needed.

But Kirk had a friend in Gene Johnson, who was a member of the Downtown Long Beach Lions Club. And at the time, Gene was working with our predecessor foundation, the Southern California Lions Eye Institute, or SCLEI. 

At the age of 13 months, Emily still hadn’t started walking. But with the help of SCLEI, she and her brother were able to get the surgery they needed.

“The day after her surgery, she started walking,” Kirk remembers. 

Emily went on to play volleyball in college, and she still plays. Jake now works with his dad in his contracting business. Neither one of them has needed any treatment for their vision. “They told us the lenses they put in will last them the rest of their lives,” Kirk says.
In 2009, SCLEI merged with the Lions Eye Foundation of Southern California (LEFSC) to form LSH. And Kirk and Gene now serve together on its Board of Directors.

It’s hard to imagine a happier ending than this: two thriving young adults, and a grateful dad, who’s working to bring our services to others in need.

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