Jacob's Vision Therapy

My name is Mary Lee Dobi and I am a teacher at Pierce Park Elementary in Boise, ID.  I work with Jacob's mom, Aimee Hovan, and have gotten to know the family over the last several years. Aimee is an amazing teacher who gives her all in the classroom, the community and at home. She is also a good friend of mine. Her son Jacob is about the same age as my youngest son Joe. They have many common interests and enjoy playing together. I recently found out that our boys have another issue in common. They both need eye therapy to correct a vision problem which dramatically affects their ability to read well.  Except that Aimee and her husband don't have $4000 nor can they add it to their ever growing list of medical bills to pay.....

The Backstory

Meet Jacob....52564636_1606159367869990_r.jpegJacob is a 5th grader this year. He has twin sisters who just started kindergarten this year. 52564636_160616004039000_r.jpeg
He was born with a congenital heart defect (Complete AV canal) which required surgery when he was only 2 months old ...
....and then again when he was 22 months old because of a sub-aortic stenosis.
52564636_1606159474811023_r.jpegHe and his mom had to travel to Stanford for both of these operations, dad stayed home to work because of the financial burden on the family.  The family is still paying for these operations today and there are more surgeries in his future that will have to repair or replace the valve.

Jacob's family is what we might refer to as the working poor; they are college educated and make too much money to qualify for financial help but not enough to really be able to cover all of their medical bills and living expenses.

Jacob's vision issues make it difficult for him to focus on words on the page correctly, which will ultimately affect his academic achievement. I have seen the positive and dramatic effect of this vision therapy on my own son Joe and his reading ability in addition to the rest of his hand-eye coordination! 

The awesome thing about this therapy is that it is extremely effective and once done; it will create life long neural connections. There is often no need to  repeat the therapy. A simplistic way to think of it is that it is similar to physical therapy for the eye-brain connection.  

Timing is Everything!
It is imperative to address this therapy this year, before Jacob gets out of elementary school where reading habits and self-perception are created.  Imagine trying to decipher a textbook while you are seeing double! It is very discouraging and you wonder why you can't move as quickly through the material as your peers! The longer this is delayed the farther behind he gets academically. Junior High and High School do not focus on Learning to Read they are all about Reading to Learn!

Eye Therapy is an out of pocket cost of  $4,000 and is NOT covered by insurance at all! 

How can you help?
This is a chance to pay it forward and help an amazing, hardworking, and resilient young man succeed in school and in the future. You have the power to let him know that there are people out in the world who are willing to help even if they don't know you. Any amount ...$5, $10, $20... you are willing and able to share will be used to offset the cost of Jacob's vision therapy. If donations exceed our $4,000 goal the excess will be applied to payoff Jacob's outstanding balance for the first two heart surgeries.

What is Vision Therapy ?
"Vision therapy (VT) is a sub-specialty of developmental optometry that improves, enhances and develops visual performance through a prescribed treatment program that is designed to create and establish new neural patterns. In summary, optometric vision therapy is a complete program of habilitative and rehabilitative therapeutic vision care of which orthoptics is a subset. Optometric vision therapy is not synonymous with orthoptics, home vision therapy or computerized vision therapy programs."
View Vision Therapy Studies​

Thank You!

I am so grateful you have taken the time to read about Jacob and his needs. I know times are tough but you can and will make a difference for this child and his family. 

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Fundraising team (2)

Mary Lee Dobi 
Raised $285 from 8 donations
Boise, ID
Aimee Hovan 
Team member
Raised $100 from 1 donation
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