Hi Family and Friends!
I have had the privilege of mentoring Christian through the Big Brother Big Sister program for the past four years. Sarah and I grew very close with his family and stayed in touch for the two years we lived in Charlotte. When we recently moved back to Atlanta I was blessed to be able to re-engage regularly as Christian approached the start of his freshman year of high school. Within a month of us moving back to Atlanta, an eye exam revealed Christian had developed a genetic disorder called 'cone dystrophy'. Essentially, this disease atrophies the cones in the eyes, which first affects sensitivity to bright lights and loss of distinction of color, and eventually advances to 'legal blindness', 20/200 vision. We are not sure about the rate of progression at this time, but there is no cure, and it is likely that he will lose most of his sight over the next few years. His response and attitude towards this diagnosis have been overwhelmingly positive. As a 14 year old faced with the reality of not being able to learn to drive, his response was (and I quote) "there is Uber and public transit, I'll be ok". He has been an inspiration to us and those that know him, and if given the opportunities, he has a very bright future.
Christian comes from an unbelievably hard working and supportive family. His mom and step-father have made incredible sacrifices and exhausted their resources to provide the best future for him. Their medical coverage does not support the equipment that would completely change Christian's life and future, and they do not have the resources to purchase the equipment in cash. As we approach this holiday season, I want to invite you to help bless his family and give Christian an unforgettable Christmas, providing him with tools that will help Christian succeed in school and support his dream of attending college to acquire an engineering degree and start a business of his own.
Below is a list of equipment/eyeware, in order of priority, that has been suggested by doctors following exams and equipment response testing at the Atlanta Center for the Visually Impaired. Any additional funds over the targeted amounts will be allocated towards co-pays for optometrist appointments and kickstarting a 529 fund for college. I will be purchasing the magnifier and giving his mom a check to purchase the rest of the items.
If you have any questions about this campaign, or Christian's diagnosis, please reach out to me or Sarah.
Thank you for your consideration in blessing this amazing family, and Happy Holidays!
-Connect 12 electronic magnifier: $1,950
-Tape Recorder: $50.00
- Prescription Sunglasses: $200.00
-Sports Goggles: $200.00
-Spare Pair of Glasses: $100.00
-Co-Pays for Dr. Appts: $1,000
-529 College Fund Starter: $1500
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