From a young age Dr. Xuan-Mai Ta was motivated by two things: helping those in need and being the best at anything she set her mind to.
Born in Vietnam, she became a refugee in 1975 and emigrated to the United States. Despite having to conquer language and social barriers, Dr. Ta quickly completed her high school and college educations. It was at this time she fell in love with medicine and was driven to the medical field. She attended the Illinois College of Optometry between 1982 and 1986, and completed her year of residency at the Kansas VA Hospital in 1987. The daily struggles at the VA fueled her passion to aid those around her.
In addition to practicing optometry, Dr. Xuan-Mai Ta wants to bring basic eye care to people in poverty stricken countries. This led her to create Project Health International in 2004. Through this organization she coordinated multiple medical missions to Vietnam, Guatemala, and Kenya. With each trip she brings prescription glasses and a team of medical professionals to perform exams and necessary surgeries.
Her love of helping others doesn’t stop with eyecare. Dr. Ta also hopes to help find a cure for the rare disease Epidermolysis Bullosa. By donating to the EB Research Partnership, she hopes to put an end to the difficulty and suffering of those affected. The EB Research Partnership strives to help find a cure for the disease affecting those known as “butterfly children”. This name was given because their skin is incredibly fragile - as a butterfly’s wings. The afflicted have greatly shortened lifespans and often pass before the age of thirty. Those with this disease are constantly in pain and cannot be touched other than to have their skin wrapped daily with bandages.
Lastly, animal suffering is an issue close to Dr. Ta’s heart. As someone who adopts and fosters shelter pets, she is deeply concerned with issues facing homeless animals. This led her to be involved with Progressive Animal Welfare Rescue (PAWR). Created in 2013, PAWR focuses on saving the lives of homeless animals. By supporting this organization she hopes to further their mission to rescue animals in need, advocate humane shelter practices, and promote programs to help cities adopt no-kill policies.
Each of these causes, alongside her ongoing work as an optometrist, continue to motivate her to find new ways to help others. In creating Swan Optik, Dr. Ta hopes to both tap into her creative interests in fashion as well as continue supporting the organizations she is involved with. With every purchase made on the site - ten percent will be donated to one of the following three organizations: Project Health International, the EB Research Partnership, and Progressive Animal Welfare Rescue.
Thank you for your interest and support!