Local boy with eye disease needs help getting device to see

- A local boy with an eye disease needs help getting a device to see.

13-year old Andrew Lowe or “AJ” is what he likes to be called, is like many teens.  He enjoys watching TV, playing card games and he likes sports.
I dropped in on him at a wrestling club in Hilltown where he goes during the off season when he's not wrestling for his school team.  He revealed to me why over the past two years he's developed a passion for wrestling.
 
"It's pretty much the one sport I can do. It's a close up sport," he said.  AJ's eyesight is the reason he's limited in many areas not just sports.  His mom Julie explains.
 
"Just being able to say hi to people walking down the hall, by the time he can probably recognize your face, you're already walking by him. We'll send him to the kitchen to find the bananas and he'll be in there five minutes looking around," she said.  That’s because AJ has Stargardt disease.  It’s a kind of juvenile macular degeneration.  It's progressive and will eventually completely take away his central vision and there's no cure.  Greg Lowe says his son was diagnosed three years ago.
 
"Imagine not being able to see anything in the center of your vision where you have just blank spots or scratchy film over everything you see. Like looking through a lace curtain. How difficult that must be," said AJ’s father.  But now there's hope through E-sight. It’s a device that gives some sight to certain people who are legally blind.  An E-sight rep came to AJ’s house for him to try it out.  His mother gets emotional talking about the moment they realized it worked for him.
 
"My husband was sitting across the table and Andrew saw Greg and a smile crossed his face and he said I can see you dad. I’m sorry,” said Julie as she teared up.  AJ says, “It was surprising that I could actually see my parents face which I haven't seen in like four years and it was very nice. I could actually read some books.”
 
A donation fund is setup to help AJ get a pair of the E-sight glasses. So far it's raised $5,000 but the cost is $15,000 dollars.  If you’d like to donate, please click here.
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