BLINDNESS CURE: Store Pulls Donation Jar

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A five year old Polk City girl may have to put off a procedure that could cure her blindness, because of a new policy at a convenience store.

Eva Allen has been blind since birth.  She has a condition where her optic nerves never fully developed.  The condition could be corrected with stem cells, the procedure is 85-percent effective, but isn't available in the US, so Eva and her parents would have to travel to Thailand.

That's going to cost about $50-thousand.

Over the past three years, the family has raised most of that, about $45-thousand, and is only $5,000 short.  They were collecting donations at the Polk City Kum and Go.

"Until one day somebody went into Kum & Go and tried to put money in the jar and it was gone," explains Eva's mother, Sara Allen.  "The manager said that it is against their policy to put it out so they had to take it away."

A spokeswoman for Kum & Go was not available for comment, but a manager at the store tells us a new policy forbids having collection jars in the store.

If you would like to help a fund has been set up at First Federal Savings Bank in Ankeny in Eva Allen's name.


  • Redroni63

    My 17yr old daughter has Optic Nerve Hypoplasia and I’ve been researching this procedure since it was even first talked about… I don’t think it’s even worth $50k, I’ve not even heard of it showing any worthwhile results.

    • David Willis

      I guess you are a fortunate person Rebecca, to apparently have no problem coming up with $5,000 at one time. Pity though that you seem to have no understanding that perhaps this family is not as fortunate as you are. It’s especially sad that you are so unfeeling that you would make such a awful comment & not use your compassion to offer the $5,000 yourself.

    • Darla

      Foot the rest of the bill? This story doesn’t say if it’s $50,000 just for the treatment of $50,000 for the treatment and the time the parents will have to spend in Thailand. And I’m not sure if you noticed but the mother doesn’t look that old. $5,000 may not seem like a lot of money to you but it could seem like a million dollars to the parents. It is too bad that this treatment isn’t yet available in the US even though other stem cell treatments have been successful here. Thankfully people that still want to donate are able to just in other ways. Too bad that extra change people want to get rid of won’t be able to add up anymore.

    • David Willis

      If you are so well off that you think paying out $5,000 out of your own pocket is no big deal Rebecca (I’m guessing it is to the Allens) then why don’t you send them the money yourself and not make such unfeeling comments as this!

  • MrsMark

    Wow! I didn’t know this was even something that could be corrected. I am blind in one of my eyes because of this same issue. However, I still have sight in the other eye for which I’ve always been very thankful.
    It’s sad that they’ve removed a donation jar, but I guess that’s a choice they have the right to make.

  • Kate

    Really? Is it Kum and Go’s fault that the procedure has to be put off? $ 45K raised and they have no avenue to get the last $ 5K?
    I understand policies like this because stores get literally hundreds of requests from people wanting to put the jars in the store.
    How do you choose? Who do you offend by not allowing their jar on the counter?
    I think the family should thank Kum & Go for helping with the $45K and move on.

  • Carrie

    Kum and Go is not the only convenience store in Polk City. Why not ask all the other stores in town. Not worth bashing Kum and Go over. Highly doubt this will prevent her from gettting her surgery.

  • Craig

    Wow, some of you are really harsh. I bet you would feel differently if you knew this little girl. Guess Kum & Go doesnt realize Polk City is still a small town and things like this cost you customers. I wondered why Caseys all of a sudden got so busy.

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