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Shea Busby

Looking into these big, beautiful, blue eyes, I always knew my oldest daughter would be destined for great things. For the first 11 years of her life, her 20/20 vision saw beauty in the world like none other.

When the school nurse suggested we have Shea's eyes examined because she struggled just a little with the bottom line of the eye chart during the routine eye exam, we thought nothing of it. Shortly after we obtained her first eyeglass prescription and went on with our life.

It wasn’t until a year later, during her first ever sports physical, that we ever had any idea there could be something more.

Somehow between that first exam and this physical, our daughter’s vision had deteriorated so badly that she could only read the top line of the eye chart (you know, that big "E") with her glasses on.

With.her.glasses.on.

Even so, we still did not fret. Surely her annual eye exam, which we had scheduled just a few days after her sports physical, would help us correct any issues with her current prescription.

But it didn’t.

Instead our optometrist turned to me and said “We need to get you in with a specialist, ASAP. There is something going on with your daughter’s eyes that I cannot see.”

What? What on earth could she mean?

So I reached out to a friend, an eye doctor…someone I know and trust. He asked me to bring her in so he could run some tests and see if he could help us figure out what was going on.

And so we did.

It was at this appointment that we first learned that there was something wrong with her macula, a small spot at the back of her retina. Knowing he could not hone in on an exact diagnosis, he connected us with a retina specialist in our area and got us in quickly for another appointment…another exam…another test.

At this point, we did not know for certain what was happening…I did my research and based on her symptoms determined that it might be something like Stargardt’s Disease, a juvenile form of Macular Degeneration.

With continued advancements on Macular Degeneration happening all the time, I had hope; hope we could sustain her vision, hope we might even be able to get her eyes to heal.

Yet as we sat there in the retina specialists office, I was afraid our answers wouldn’t be so simple.

And as mother’s intuition often goes…I was correct.

No, our answer wouldn’t be so simple.

In fact, the news we received that day was that there were no current treatments for Stargardts, and because of her young age, there were no studies we could involve her in either. 

And when I asked “what do we do now?”

The answer was a very grim “we wait and see.”

While we have done everything we can on our own, have helped Shea to receive comfort from the pressure and pain caused by Stargardts through natural solutions...her eyesight has continued to deteriorate. 

In December 2016, Shea was deemed legally blind, meaning her vision can no longer be improved beyond 20/200 with aide. 

Since then, her ability to recognize faces, expressions, even those of her family members, has gone. She struggles to read normal and even slightly enlarged print, which is huge for someone who is as much of an avid reader as Shea...if you ask her what she misses seeing, she will tell you people. She misses the faces of her friends and family. She misses being able to see the leaves on the tree. She misses being able to communicate non-verbally through facial or even body expression, because she simply cannot see others well enough to know what they are feeling or expressing. 

I would have never believed you if you told me only a few years ago that there were a pair of glasses that could help our daughter see clearly again. I still can’t comprehend it’s real, but eSight can give Shea what we have been dreaming of. All we want is for her the world as we see it. And you can help us turn this dream into a reality by helping us raise the money for an incredible technology: eSight Eyewear.

To be honest with you, I don’t want eSight so Shea can go on some extravagant adventures or witness a special event. That would just be a nice little added bonus.

Truthfully, Shea needs eSight so she can again begin living life the way it was meant to be lived. We just want Shea to be able to experience the things we all take for granted. To watch a movie with my family and friends, read a book, see the faces of all of you amazing people reading this and thinking about contributing, or to just see her own smile again.

If we were to reach our goal and be able to call a pair of eSight Eyewear her own, the possibilities would be…endless.

 Shea is one of 6 children, a blended family with a Purple Heart Veteran Father, a former teacher for a mother (who came home to become a caregiver for her wounded veteran husband, visually impaired daughter and special needs son), and her youngest brother is a foster child whom the family is aiming to adopt. With that, we are not in a position to simply shell out the $10k it would take to purchase one of these beautiful aids. It means the world to us that you would consider sharing and donating to this page. 

We can’t thank you enough for anything you may give to this journey of ours.

And, just in case you still can’t believe a pair of glasses could be so magical, go to www.esighteyewear.com/moments and check out the videos. See how they are changing the lives of so many people with low vision; that’s what we hope to achieve for Shea, soon.

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