Western Union is joining the fight against preventable blindness in Filipino babies.

The Apl.de.ap Foundation is embarking on The Campaign for Filipino Children, a two-year effort to help in the diagnosis and treatment of retinopathy of prematurity, an eye disease that affects premature babies.

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A giant-sized check is given to officials from The Apl.de.ap Foundation and Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. L-R: Ted Benito, Sonia Delen, apl.de.ap, Thomas Lee, MD, and Bobby Fan, westernunion.com director of marketing in the US.

This preventable eye disease affects at least 10% of all premature births in the Philippines and causes irreversible blindness if left untreated. The Campaign for Filipino Children estimates it can protect and treat 4,380 babies each year by providing education and support to Filipino medical professionals.

To do this, The Apl.de.ap Foundation has partnered with renowned pediatric eye surgeon Thomas Lee, MD. Dr. Lee and his team of experts in The Vision Center at Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles have opened a lot of eyes with their groundbreaking sight-saving work.

Dr. Lee has developed methods that allow him to monitor eye exams and surgeries halfway around the world. He’s already tackled retinopathy of prematurity in Armenia, China, Mexico, and Mongolia.

WU Digital has stepped in to help as the campaign’s chief sponsor, donating $150,000 to the foundation.

That money’s a great start towards the two-year fundraising goal of $650,000.The drive kicked off Sunday, June 8 with a benefit concert at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles. A second concert headlined by apl.de.ap is scheduled for Aug. 16 at the Agua Caliente’s 2014 Summer Extravaganza in Palm Springs.

To make a donation, head to www.ForFilipinoChildren.com. The money will help the campaign, as well as the rebuilding efforts in the Philippines after the devastating Typhoon Haiyan.

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