LIMA — Gage Morgan, an Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne student, now has the opportunity to see his future.
Morgan, a 20-year-old Lima native, was diagnosed with ocular albinism when he was 4 months old. That is a rare condition that reduces the pigmentation of the iris and affects the retina of the eye. It’s left him with only peripheral vision.
His specialist said his vision could not be permanently be corrected, so Morgan tried his best to be optimistic about the situation even through challenges like not participating in phys ed class, reading, driving and other social activities.
It was not until his mother, Lisa, an insurance agent, received a call one day from a client who wanted to add a pair of $6,000 glasses onto his homeowners insurance that everything changed.
That client’s wife also had a rare eye disorder. He was able to connect Lisa with Dr. Thomas Azman with Low Vision Specialists of Maryland and Virginia, an organization that creates specialized glasses for people like Morgan.
Mother and son met with the doctor and learned Morgan could be helped.
With the new glasses, Morgan will be able to drive, take notes, work and do everything else that people his age are doing.
“It’s such a great feeling,” said Morgan. “Having the ability to write my own notes and not rely on anyone else is just profound.”
In order to fund the glasses, Morgan has set up a Redbasket account to raise the $5,000 by the April 9 deadline. As of March 23 he has raised $1,295.
His goal is to advocate for individuals who struggle with rare eye conditions, just like himself.
“People with visual impairment issues should know that they may have been told no but there is just not one doctor out there,” said Morgan. “There are people like myself who have gone through the same thing and can help.”
Reach Camri Nelson at 567-242-0456 or on Twitter @CamriNews