By: Tammy Allison
THE VILLAGE REPORTER
Upon first glance, Brady Hohl of rural Wauseon is like any other eight year old boy. He loves to swim, loves to play games, and loves his Hot Wheels. A soon to be third grader at Wauseon Schools, he likes school. The son of Melissa and Jeremy Hohl, he enjoys running around the family’s large yard with his older sister Mia and older brother Nickolas. He is eager to show visitors his ducks, garden, and swimming pool.
Brady’s zest for life is blurred only by one thing: his vision. Diagnosed in 2008 at the age of six months with a rare eye disease called Norrie, Brady has already endured four eye surgeries in his young life. He wears glasses but is legally blind and will one day most likely experience total blindness. Through Brady’s eyes, everything in his world is blurry. He can read but the book must be held very close to his eyes. At school, his work is enlarged under a computer screen.
His family has modified family activities in order to help Brady enjoy normal every day activities. In the Hohl household, family movie night means projected movies outside against a white sheet on their screened in porch house. This allows Brady to sit as close as he needs to in order to see the picture, something he couldn’t do at a drive in movie. Baseball games and other summer activities that most families take for granted are too difficult for Brady who cannot see any length of distance.
Recently, his parents learned of a new technology to help those with low vision to see. With eSight eyewear technology, developed by a Canadian company, a high-definition camera captures the image of what the wearer is looking at to create a clear image. This innovative technology allows the wearer to not only see but to enjoy everyday activities of life more fully such as reading, hobbies, and cooking. For those with low vision, eSight enhances the vision that is remaining and can eliminate or profoundly improve issues such as blind spots and blurriness.
At an eSight demonstration this past April in the Cleveland area, Brady traveled with his mother and grandmother to learn firsthand about eSight eyewear. Melissa was hesitant but hopeful. As Brady was fitted with the glasses, he was emotionally overwhelmed. For the first time in his life, Brady saw the world around him clearly, all the blurriness and fuzziness he is so accustomed to, gone. He looked at his mom and grandma and saw them up close for the first time.
This new technology has the power to open Brady’s world to new opportunities which otherwise are now blurry and too distant. Because of its newness and innovative technology, the cost of eSight eyewear at $15,000 proposes a challenge, but not one his family views as impossible. Because insurance does not help with this assistive device and grants are not available, they are reaching out to the greater local and online community for help.
If you are interested in helping Brady in his quest to see, you can go to any PNC Bank and donate to Brady’s eSight fund. A gofundme.com page has also been set up at https://www.gofundme.com/qnmwznuc. Future fundraising events such as a rummage sale are also being planned. To keep informed of these events, check out and like Brady’s Facebook page-Support Brady’s Esight Fund. A touching video of Brady trying on the eSight glasses and seeing his mother’s face clearly for the first time can be viewed on the Facebook page.
What exactly does Brady want to do when he has his eSight glasses? He pauses for a moment when asked that question, and then with a smile begins to name off his list. “I want to see monster trucks, and see someone hit a ball in the hoops, and go to the movie theater. I want to go to a Mud Hens game and the circus.” Everyday activities for most children…presently hopeful dreams for Brady.
Just how much does Brady dream of seeing the world through eSight? His mother Melissa shared that after Brady tried out the eSight glasses, he woke up one morning and announced that he would even sell his beloved Hot Wheels cars if it meant that he could have the eSight glasses and see. If a young boy is willing to sell his beloved Hot Wheels, would you consider giving towards Brady’s dream to see? Together, a community of visionaries can unite to bring the gift of vision to a young child to paint his view of the world more clearly…Imagine one morning when Brady will wake up, eSight eyewear on, and can proudly proclaim, “I can see now.”
Tammy Allison may be reached at email@example.com