Writer battles rare eye disorder

To the Journal editor:

I am an average person, with only one thing that makes me who I am. I have a rare eye disease, Coats’ Disease, which is a nonhereditary disease caused by abnormal development of the blood vessels behind the retina that can cause full or partial blindness.

The leaky vessels causes deposits to build up on in the pupil behind the lens of the eye. It can also cause retinal detachment, glaucoma, and possibly cataracts.

Although I was born with the rare condition, I lost my vision between age four and five. I luckily knew to tell my parents and I used the words, “My eye shuts off.”

My family didn’t know how severe the situation was until Dr. Brian Perkovich of Green Bay Eye Care Clinic, told my parents that we needed many laser treatments to save my eye and there was little chance to getting vision back.

This is seven years later, I am at the age of 12 and my vision keeps improving. Being legally blind is having vision 20/200 or worse, I had 20/500 and am at 20/80. Most people can’t get much vision back. I am extremely lucky for how much sight I have back and understanding what it’s like to have one eye.

My hopes is that my condition can be known and that scientists can find the cause and cure of this disease. It isn’t a walk in the park, and I get frustrated that there is no cure. I want to help the other children, and adults, by educating them on Coats’ Disease.

Please have your children’s vision checked at a young age. If you see a yellow glow when using a camera flash, have an eye doctor check for abnormalities.

For more information, check out Know the Glow Foundation and the Jack McGovern Coats Foundation.