Pham New Keratoconus Ambassador

Besides giving his eyes extra time to recover from a recent eye drop irritation, yesterday’s break in the schedule allowed Tommy Pham to be awarded as an Ambassador for National Keratoconus Foundation.

“It’s a humbling award,” said Pham. “I never thought I’d be an ambassador for Keratoconus and here I am.”

Keratoconus is a condition which affects the cornea, which is normally round and smooth in surface. With keratoconus, the cornea is cone shaped and the surface is also irregular, which results in a distorted image being projected onto the brain.

“It’s an eye condition that’s not spoken of enough,” said Pham, who suffers from the condition. “It’s gaining a lot of traction now in the US because these crosslinking procedures are FDA approved now so more momentum on the Keratoconus line is picking up.”

These crosslinking procedures help anchor and strengthen the cornea.

“I’m working on ways to help share my story to help others and spread the word out about Keratoconus,” said Pham. “I think I have a lot in store for it. I’m excited for the opportunity.”

That plan could eventually include some kind of Tommy Pham foundation.

“Absolutely,” said Pham. “Working on it and in the process right now. I could see that happening.”

“My agency brought it up to me and I told them I like the idea. It’s in the early stages right now–it’s a process. I just have to wait it out.”

The 29-year old Pham is hitting over .300 this season and has been one of the St. Louis Cardinals top contributors since he was called up on May 5th this season. But he’s not arbitration eligible until 2019 or free agency in 2022.

Obviously a long-term contract would provide ability–and stability for Pham to be able to help make any kind of foundation a reality. But he’s not getting ahead of things.

“Nah, I haven’t thought about it,” he said. “Right now, I’m just really focusing on finishing strong and trying to make this playoff push. The contract situation is nothing I even thought of…I focus on the present right now.”

“It would definitely help, but right now I have to take care of what I have to take care of on the field.”

photo credit: Bill Greenblatt/UPI

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