Thank you for sharing your stories! It’s time to VOTE!

We’re setting our 20/20 vision on giving away a free LASIK eye surgery to someone deserving in our community. We received over 150 nominations, and we’ve narrowed down the list to six finalists. We’d love for you to take some time to read through these incredible stories from our community members, and cast your vote for who you’d like to win free LASIK.

Here’s how voting works:

To vote, all you need to do is read through the bios below, provide your email and name and press vote! You can vote once per day until midnight October, 30th. Any additional votes will not be tallied.

Meet Beth:

Healthcare Worker


Nominated by Family Member, Patrick McCall

My mom is a health care worker, working on the frontline, looks at a computer screen, & starts IVs every day. She has always worn contacts but with the coronavirus outbreak, she has been wearing her glasses so as not to touch her eyes. This has been difficult for her with having to wear a mask, face shields, and other PPEs. She needs an eye exam for a renewal prescription of new contacts but been unable to due to COVID 19 pandemic. I would hope her winning this would be a small appreciation for all her dedication she has given others. Thank you for giving this great opportunity.

Meet Chris:



Nominated by Family member, Sharrie Robbins

Christopher is a special education teacher, working in a self-contained classroom with students with moderate to severe autism. He has had students grab or grab at his glasses. He has mentioned multiple times how he wished he could have LASIK surgery, but on a teacher’s salary couldn’t see that happening. He is also getting married this fall to a wonderful girl who also works with children with severe disabilities. I would love to see him get LASIK surgery before the wedding! This would be a tremendous blessing to an educator in the field of special education!

Meet Jalen:



Nominated by Family member, Sean Calloway

Recently my stepson risked his life to save someone on the river. He selflessly went into the water (contact lenses and all) to help this lady. He is a firefighter and this would be so beneficial for him and his future. Here is her post Facebook post….

I would like to make a shout out to this remarkable young man! My family and I floated the river this weekend and I ended up being swept down passed where we were supposed to get out! With the strong current pulling me, there was no way for me to get back to them! When it became obvious that I was in trouble, this young man grabbed a kayak and headed out to me! He ended up in the water but never left my side! I ended up being rescued later by two other men who had a boat with a motor! He had to let go of my boat in order for them to pull me to safety…he told me he worked for the fire department and assured me that he was going to be ok…as a mother to two boys myself, leaving him hanging on to those tree branches was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done! I wanted him to stay with me and I wanted him pulled to safety and he wanted the same thing for me!! In a world today so full of anger and hate, two strangers met under the worst possible circumstances…color, gender, race…none of it mattered!! All I saw was a wonderful, caring and concerned young man who was willing to risk his life to help a complete stranger! Our reunion on that river bank is one I will never forget! To Jalen Thomas and all the young men who assisted that day, I am forever grateful! You are indeed a remarkable young man!

Meet Staci:

Police Officer


Hello! My name is Staci Hamlett. I am 25 years old and have worn glasses 85 percent of my life. As I continue to age, my vision will only worsen. As a child in fourth grade, my eye doctor felt that LASIK was something I needed to consider and fast because my sight was deteriorating rapidly. Luckily, the damage slowed down. I currently am a police officer here in the City of Lynchburg and I struggle a lot of times to see and find myself squinting leaving me with a headache even doing the smallest of things (reading license plates, writing reports, seeing far distances). It gets worse at night, and I struggle even harder to see and the squinting leaves me with migraines. This procedure would be a blessing to me tremendously. Thank you for this opportunity.

Meet Todd:



Nominated by Family member, Tammy Coalson

Lasik Surgery would change Todd’s life, with giving him hope again. Let’s start from the beginning.

On August 20th 1994 a week before our wedding Todd’s father passed away. This was so devastating to Todd. Which spiraled him into a deep depression for three years. After much hard work we were able to get back on track and begin to start our family on December 11, 1995 we were blessed with a beautiful baby girl, who we named Cassandra Lee Ellen Coalson. Everything was going great. Two years later we were blessed with a son, whom we named Trevor Earl Coalson and two years after that we had our Cayla Ann Coalson. A year after we had Cayla Todd’ mother developed Alzheimer’s. knowing that Todd would never want his mother to be placed into a nursing home we decided to have her move in with us. Taking care of his mother became Todd’s full-time job along with caring for our three small children, while I worked outside of the home. In 2002 our daughter Cayla was diagnosed with a chronic heart condition, which led to 15 years of uncertainty and 4 major heart surgeries.  We were juggling three small children a granny with Alzheimer’s and a child with a major heart condition.

In 2004 Todd’s mother passed away from Alzheimers. We were still running back and forth to UVA with our daughter Cayla trying to find the right medicine to control her heart. This added a lot of uncertainty and stress on the family. All while Todd’s eyes were growing worse, we were purchasing glasses from the drug store that he worked at. In April 2019, Todd had an eye appointment and elected to try contacts. He has had so many problems with the contacts, trying multiply kinds, three visits to the emergency room. He has always wanted to have LASIK surgery so we would not have to worry about the contacts or purchasing glasses. 

On November 7th 2019 our beautiful baby girl Cassandra Coalson took her own life. Stopping this family in our tracks. Life will never be the same without her. To add to this devastation Todd was diagnosed with prostate Cancer on March 3rd 2020. He was scheduled for surgery but unfortunately it has been cancelled due to COVID-19. So, for something positive to happen would be such a blessing.

Meet Whitney:



Nominated by Friend, Lauren Hawkins

I want to nominate my coworker Whitney. She is one of my best friends and a wonderful person! Her sweet spirit and kind heart makes coming to work every day a lot easier and fun! Like me she wears contacts or glasses every day. It is a struggle to be able to afford contacts so she wears her glasses most of the time. She is a single mom of a wonderful little boy named Nicholas. She does work 2 jobs to support him and her family’s needs. She is constantly working to meet their needs and always putting them before herself. Her self-sacrifice is evident every day. She has expressed interest in the LASIK procedure but is unable to afford it. If chosen she would be so very appreciative and grateful. I just feel that she would benefit from the surgery and would not have to worry about purchasing contacts or new glasses all the time making the financial strain a little easier. Thank you for your consideration.

Find out who won on November 7th!

We will be revealing who won at a small ceremony on November 7th. We’ll let everyone know who won on Facebook. Thank you for your help!

Learn more about the Stories in Focus Campaign:


What Our Patients Think

    I couldn't recommend a better doctor, a better facility, and I'm so glad I did it.
  • Brenda Edson in front of a brick home
    Brenda Edson /
    "I could not have asked for a better experience at Piedmont Eye Center. From my very first visit, the staff was friendly, knowledgeable, and genuinely interested in me."
  • Bobby Moore /
    "I wish I would have done it many years ago now."
  • Bryan Mitchell outside of a football stadium
    Bryan Mitchell / ANALYST
    "My vision was the best it had been since I was a teen. I had my LASIK surgery performed almost 2 years ago, and it is as good today as it was then."
  • Caroline Trexler /
    "They ensured that the entire process from preliminary appointments to follow up visits went seamlessly – the perfect team that gave me perfect vision."
    "All and all, this has been a very pleasant and beneficial period for me. I recommend it highly for anyone in a similar situation.'
  • Cynthia Stewart standing outside
    Cynthia /
    "I feel almost like a new person It’s a wonderful feeling to wake up in the morning and be able to actually see across the room without fumbling for my glasses. "
  • Frances / RETIRED
    "Dr. Ceballos has always been very positive, clarifying everything medically, never leaving me in doubt and has always made me feel special and important."
  • Guy / RETIRED
    "The procedure was painless, and now I’m happy to say I only wear glasses to read. I have 20/20 vision in my left eye and 20/25 in my right. "
  • Janice Bloom standing in front of a tree
    "Dr. Bowers and his staff treated me with the utmost in professional care, making sure I was comfortable throughout the entire process."
  • Barbara / RETIRED
    "The procedure was pain free and I am so pleased with the results. It was money well spent and it is unbelievable how clear and colorful everything is. I want to tell Dr. Bowers and his staff how grateful I am."
  • Jerome / RETIRED
    "Doctor Vogel has treated me professionally as has his staff. They have been caring and have answered my questions to my satisfaction."
  • Jon Dupin standing outside of a brick home
    Jon Dupin / PASTOR
    "LASIK is not just a medical advancement to me; it’s a miracle"
  • Josh Brewer / HUMANITARIAN AID
    "Because of Dr. Bowers and his team at Piedmont Eye Center, my everyday life is now a whole lot easier. "
  • Judy Bowman / MISSIONARY
    "My experience of having Laser Vision Correction was fantastic. Dr. Bowers and all his staff are so knowledgeable and professional, yet very personal, warm, caring, and friendly."
  • Lucy standing in a classroom
    Lucy /
    "Dr. Bowers and his team were very comforting. The next morning, I opened my eyes and was able to see the alarm clock across the room, which I was never able to see before. It was a miracle!"
  • Martha Ann / GRANDMOTHER
    "It is a wonderful feeling to have no RX lenses. I want to thank Dr. Bowers and the Surgery Center for the freedom I feel.”
  • Monica Shelton / Featured Patient
    "Everyone told me what they were going to be doing to me and what to expect every step of the way. My experience with Piedmont Eye Center and Dr. Bowers and the whole LASIK team was awesome!"
  • Adelia / RETIRED
    "God led me to Dr. Vogel. He is absolutely the most wonderful doctor in the world. Not only is he a great doctor, he is a great ‘people person’. You always feel safe with him."
  • Penny Abbot in front of a home
    Penny Abbott / Financial Consultant
    "From the great staff who helped me, to the simplicity of setting up my flexible spending account, to my complete satisfaction and enjoyment of having clear sight, this has been an easy process."
    "The staff at Piedmont eased my nerves and the procedure was swift and smooth."
  • Sue Earsing and lasik eye surgery
    "I have always seen the world through glasses or contacts, so the sharpness of vision I have now was never there before."
    “Dr. Bowers not only met my expectations, he surpassed them. I had no idea that vision like this was possible. I no longer struggle in the shadows of a course- everything is clearer.”
  • Troy Doss
    "Piedmont Eye Center takes care of the little things to make LASIK a comfortable process."
Read More Testimonials