By Jody Johnson-Pettit

For the first time in his life, 10-year-old Benny Francey can see his mom’s face, read books and watch his favourite movies.

The youngster from Selkirk, Man., who has a rare disease called Leber congenital amaurosis that prevents him from seeing anything but silhouettes, recently received a pair of eSight glasses that allow him to see the world around him.

“We are very blessed that this happened this year,” Benny’s mom Jenna Cason told Optical Prism magazine recently.

She said her son is excited to learn new things each day with his new glasses on.

“Reading is a huge thing for him, as he has only read Braille in his life,” she says.

Benny’s aunt started a GoFundMe page to raise the $15,000 USD cost to purchase the electronic-assisted, customizable glasses from Ontario-based eSight Eyewear.

eSight

The glasses contain a camera that captures the user’s surroundings. A built-in computer then processes the footage and displays it on two LED screens in front of the user’s eyes. Full-color footage is clearly seen by the eSight user with unprecedented visual clarity and there is no discernible lag witnessed by the user.

The eSight glasses also include BioOptic Tilt, a patented technology that allows the wearer to adjust the position of the device and leverage their existing peripheral vision to allow for greater mobility.

Brian Mech, president and CEO of eSight, said watching people like Benny test out the glasses and see for the first time inspires the company’s employees on a daily basis and reinforces their belief that everyone deserves to see.

““Whether it is a child seeing his parent’s faces for the first time like Benny, or young people completing their education, others returning to or maintaining their position in the workforce, or retirees enjoying the fruits of a lifetime of labor – everyone deserves to see,” he says.

“The low vision community faces immense challenges and there is simply no better feeling than empowering individuals within this community with choice.

“With eSight, users can pursue the jobs they dream of; they can study or learn about topics of interest without the typical challenges that they are used to facing. These outcomes are what continue to motivate us to do what we do.”

Benny Francey with his eSight glasses.

eSight allows the user to instantly switch from near vision (useful for reading a document) to mid-range vision (looking up to see who just stepped into the room) to long-range vision (looking out the window and observing the outdoors).

The company helps its customers with financing and fundraising to cover the cost of the glasses.

“We believe that a day will come when people with vision loss will not have to pay out of their own pocket to restore their vision with eSight,” says Mech.

“We are working hard to make this a reality and until that day comes, we continue to organize individual fundraising campaigns to ensure, to the best of our ability, that those who need eSight can get eSight, regardless of their financial situation.”

Anyone interested in trying eSight glasses or learning more about their product can visit www.esighteyewear.com.

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