Mid-Michigan teen needs surgery to restore vision - WNEM TV 5

Mid-Michigan teen needs surgery to restore vision

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(Source: WNEM) (Source: WNEM)
GLADWIN, MI (WNEM) -

A young man is losing his sight, but it won't stop him from chasing his dreams and making some beautiful music along the way.

Grant Shafer dreams of music and becoming a band directer. But the 16-year-old from Gladwin may have to put his dreams on hold because he is going blind.

"It's a lot to process. Just being able to see everything clearly to all of the sudden you can't see enough," Grant said.

He has keratoconus, a rare disease that strikes quickly.

"I'm petrified and just hoping everything will turn out OK," said Dawn Fortier, Grant's mother.

Grant started losing his vision in May. He is nearly blind in his right eye, but his left eye isn't as bad.

"It's really sensitive to light. So I'll go outside and my eyes will be sore," Grant said.

His blindness grows day by day. At 16 he was learning to drive, but now he can't. It's also harder for him to play his saxophone.

"There are times where the notes will blue together on the staff and it'll look like a different note," Grant said.

His family is hoping a series of surgeries will save his vision and his dreams.

"Don't take anything for granted. Just appreciate what you've got. Being able to see, being able to hear. All that. Don't take the smallest of things for granted," Grant said.

He goes in for his surgery on his right eye next week. After that they will work on his left eye. If the surgeries don't work out, Grant is going to need to get a cornea transplant.

A GoFundMe page has been created to help the family with the cost.

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