A random vision screening at my son's daycare changed his life forever.
Like most fathers, the health of my son has always been the most important thing in my life. As a new father, I knew to send him to doctors appointments, dentist appointments, monitor his nutrition and growth, and care for his general health and appearance. As a man who never had eye issues my entire life, it never occurred to me the importance of vision screenings. Luckily, at my son's daycare, they set up screenings for all the kids through the Lions Club. Tyson went to daycare that day, got his vision screened and came home like any other day.
Then a few weeks later we received paperwork in the mail from his screening. It recommended he visit an Optometrist as soon as possible. That paperwork alone was enough to scare his mother and I. A feeling a guilt and a bit of shame came over us. How could our son have a health problem and we not know it? How bad was his eyesight? Has it been affecting his learning or even his quality of life?
We took Tyson to his appointment and received the news that his eyesight was very poor. I remember when the eye doctor showed us the lens of what my 2 year old son's vision was, and I almost broke down into tears. His mother was also extremely upset, and we then had to immediately go pick out glasses. This brought out even more stress and anxiety. How were we going to keep these glasses on his face? He was as wild and crazy as any other 2 year old. The thought of him being gentle with these expensive glasses seemed impossible.
Shortly after that day the reality set in. I remember vividly the commotion downstairs as I was trying to sleep. I went to investigate and found out that my son had randomly decided, for no reason at all, to take his week old glasses off and thrown them down our concrete basement steps. His beautiful, new black glasses were now already scratched and gauged. A huge, deep scratch right in the middle of the lens. Panic came over me as I had visions of needing to purchase new $150 glasses every week.
Having a young child with vision issues is a very stressful situation for many reasons. It starts with concerns over the child's general health, well being and development. Then it continues with the financial stress of appointments, insurance, broken and scratched lenses, changing prescriptions etc. There's also the worry of bullying or self consciousness of your child from being different from most other kids. Being the man I am, I even worried greatly about his vision affecting his ability to hit a curve ball in the future. Although I have perfect vision and could never consistently hit one myself.
From my son's experience is where Vision Runner was formed. I have mixed my love of distance running with an ability and determination to give to others. The goal of this platform is to generate money to help others through the process my family went through. Whether it's awareness, access to vision screenings, financial aid for appointments and lenses or general knowledge from experience, Vision Runner will push to provide assistance whenever possible.
In closing, for anyone wondering at this point, my son Tyson settled into his glasses fairly quickly. To me, he actually looks like a completely different kid when he takes them off. He gets complimented on them all the time and he likes them. He recently told me that eye glasses are his favorite invention of all time because they help him see everything.We still have our issues, like when we were playing football a couple weeks back and I tackled him a little too rough. He hit the ground and we heard a crack, and that quickly his glasses were broken. It was nowhere near as devastating as the glasses being chucked down the steps four years ago, but still no fun breaking them with such an innocent mistake. Within these experiences is where Vision Runner was born, and will continue to evolve to help others in need.
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