LASIK For A Good Cause To National Geographic Fame

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Nick’s photo, “Dark Needle” made the cover of a National Geographic fall 2015 special edition.

The Red Circle Foundation (RCF) provides immediate financial assistance to families of military Special Operators who have died in action or face extenuating circumstances. As a proud RCF Mission Partner, Dr. Labor donates LASIK procedures for auction at RCF annual gala events with 100% of proceeds going to these deserving families. At last year’s RCF gala, a young Lake Tahoe photographer named Nick Cahill had the winning bid. In 2015, Nick’s photo graced the cover of a National Geographic special edition, “Guide To The Night Sky, A Stargazer’s Companion”. Nick, by the way, is also a filmmaker for Force12 Media, founded by RCF founder Brandon Webb, New York Times best-selling author of “The Red Circle”. At the RCF 2015 gala, Nick and Dr. Labor reunited. Here is a brief story about Nick, and how LASIK has impacted his life and career a year after his surgery.

In the fall of 2014, Dr. Labor performed Nick Cahill’s LASIK procedure he won at the RCF gala auction. The surgery was a complete success, and the astigmatism Nick suffered from his entire life was well on its way to becoming a faded memory. “I knew nothing about Dr. Labor or Eye Consultants of Texas, but Dr. Labor’s devotion to RCF said a lot about his credibility,” Nick said. “LASIK has a high success rate, I needed it, and it was a great cause. I decided to bid on the spot.” Nick couldn’t be happier with his results that corrected vision problems going back to childhood. As he tells it, “My astigmatism was so bad I had to wear an eye patch in Kindergarten. When that didn’t work they put me in really thick glasses. I got teased…a lot. It became even more frustrating as I developed the interests that are so important to my photography career and life. “I’m really into hiking, rock climbing, snowboarding, mountain biking, car racing—about any sport. Early on, I developed an obsession with nature and landscape photography. Glasses and this type of life don’t mix, so I had to switch to contacts. I never got used to them because of the upkeep. Taking them in and out, keeping them clean at 14,000 feet, it’s pretty challenging! I wanted to shoot like the photographers I admired most. It’s hard enough to become good at this with normal eyesight. With astigmatism, I had to work two or three times as hard.”

Nick’s passions put him in risky situations, but he admits being nervous about his procedure like anyone else. It was actually during surgery where he said he felt most at ease.“Dr. Labor calmly explained everything step by step. I’ve never had anyone speak to me in such a soothing way. And the healing process was exactly as he explained it.”


Nick and Dr. Labor in 2015.

Nick talks about his LASIK experience as enthusiastically as if sharing his latest adventure. “I can catch details I never knew existed. That alone has transformed me as a photographer. It also allows me to do everything safer. Dr. Labor has given me a confidence and freedom I thought I’d never have.” Dr. Labor said reconnecting with Nick was a real high point. “It’s always special to hear from a happy patient. To see how positively Nick’s LASIK surgery has affected his life is really special. It’s incredible to think that his photo was selected for a National Geographic cover. I can only imagine what he’ll accomplish from here.” Nick is now taking his talents on the road in a 1988 school bus he converted to a “tiny mobile workstation.”

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