Hi, my name is Kelly!
To start off, I'm seventeen, and ever since I was born I've had two eye conditions: Glaucoma and Aniridia. In my case, my visual impairment isn't treatable. I inherited these from my Mom which is why I was born with it, which is somewhat uncommon as it usually doesn't occur until a much older age.
Let me tell you really quick what these two conditions are. Glaucoma is the main source of my blindness as it is a condition that causes pressure inside your eye, causing damage to the optic nerve which is what tells the brain what you're seeing. It can worsen if not taken seriously and can sometimes lead to complete vision loss. This is why I need to take two glaucoma drops twice a day in both of my eyes. It's not yet completely treatable, but there are surgeries and things to help it not get worse.
Aniridia doesn't connect to my blindness but certainly does make it worse as it has a lot to do with light. The part of the eye that helps with light control and how much or how little enters the eye is the iris, which I don't have because Aniridia is described as not having an iris. So, my eyes are very sensitive to light, it may be much brighter or much darker than what a person with perfect eyes is seeing. That's why I can't do paperwork in the dark at school for example (that's why I don't like watching things at school, we usually have to do a paper while watching and everyone wants the lights off). It's also very important for me to wear sunglasses while outside because the sun can damage my eyes much more than a person with an iris as the iris gives protection from the suns rays.
I'm currently in my last year of high school and plan on going to college. My low vision impacts my education greatly and though I like to think of myself as an independent person and would like to be, it's essential for me to rely on others for help with seeing many things from school boards or work, menus at fast food restaurants (behind the counter ones), something across the street, etc. I must also rely on others for transportation, which impacts my ability to easily get a job as does my visual impairment in general.
Luckily, it's a great time to be born with a visual impairment as we are surrounded by phenomenal technology. As a result, I've been given many things to help me from a vision telescope which helps a lot to an iPad for school to take pictures and zoom in. Though, these help, I've always been looking for something that'll help me more than anything.
So, recently, I found out about NuEyes which are augmented reality glasses. It has dual displays inside that show the camera on the other side. With these, you can zoom in, zoom out, and change contrast all in the click of a button on a handheld remote, or you can even speak to the glasses telling them what to do. I was certain they'd be what I've been looking for. And after trying them for the first time, they definitely were.
I could finally see things on the other side of the room such as a person holding up a certain amount of fingers (and I was able to tell them how many), which is just incredible. It's simple to put on, zoom in, zoom out, change contrast (which is one of the best features because even though zooming helps, things such as a school board are too bright for my eyes - due to the Aniridia - and I've always favored white text on black).
Since this device is so advanced and uses such good technology (military material), they aren't the cheapest. There would never be a chance of a state agency handling something like this and they currently aren't covered by insurance, I decided to come to the community. If anyone wants to help, which would be highly appreciated by both me and my family, anything would help.
I believe NuEyes would help me so much in college, daily life, and most likely even a career after college. This would quite literally change my life.
If you want to find out more about NuEyes, here's a link to it:
Even the smallest amount would help!
Thank you in advance!
Any questions, comments, or for more on my story, please comment down below or message me and I'll reply as soon as possible.
Aside from the "Updates" section of the GoFundMe, you can also follow me or check my Twitter page which can be found here: TWITTER
- WHS Key Club
- Kiwanis Club of Bridgeville
- Terri & Jason Allmon
- Paul Caple
- Holly Warren
Organizer and beneficiary
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