Tag: YouCaring

Christopher Ward Jr., a Legally Blind 5th-Grader, Sees Mother for 1st Time With Electronic Glasses

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Christopher Ward Jr. sees his mom, Marquita Hackley, for the first with the help of eSight.  (ABC NEWS SCREENSHOT)

article by Breanna Edwards via theroot.com

A Forest, Va., fifth-grader got the chance to see his mother clearly for the first time ever through the use of new electronic glasses, ABC News reports.

Thanks to the new wearable technology called eSight, Christopher Ward Jr. was able to “really see for the first time in his 12 years of life,” his mother told the news station.

“The very first thing he did was turn to me and say, ‘Oh, Mommy! There you are!” Christopher’s mom, Marquita Hackley, told ABC News today. “And then to hear him say, ‘I saw my mom, and she was very pretty,’ was so heartwarming. And aside from pretty, just the fact he could even see me meant the whole world to me.”

ESight uses a small, high-speed camera that captures live video, which is then sent to a LED screen in front of the user’s eyes, the network notes.

Christopher was born with optic nerve hypoplasia, which means his optic nerve never fully developed before he was born. As a result, he “only has little light perception in his left eye and very, very low vision in his right eye,” Hackley explained.

“Something has to be up in his face, almost touching, for him to see it,” she said. “And even though [he] wears glasses on a daily basis, they’re more for protection than vision because there is a strong possibility he could lose the little sight he does have if he were to get hurt or hit on the face.”

Hackley’s insurance didn’t cover the cost of eSight, so she created a crowdfunding page on the YouCaring site, asking for $15,000 to purchase the technology. Once the community got wind of her need, the story went viral and donations started pouring in. The donation page, which is now closed, raised over $25,000. Hackley noted that all the money over the cost of the glasses would be put into a trust for her son.

“Christopher is just a very loving kid, always happy, and never complains about anything,” she said. “I’ll do anything to help get him what he deserves.”

Read more at ABC News

Virginia McLaurin, the 106-Year-Old Who Danced With Obama, Receives Donations and Support From Community

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President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama with Virginia McLaurin, 106 (photo via newsone.com)

article via newsone.com

Centenarian Virginia McLaurin may have made our hearts melt when she met President Obama last month during a Black History Month event, but now it’s the 106-year-old’s Washington D.C. community making her smile.

McLaurin, who went viral after dancing joyfully with the President and First Lady Michelle Obama, may appear full of spunk, but friend and neighbor Deborah Menkart told the Huffington Post that it’s a bit difficult for her to climb the stairs to her apartment.

Menkart, who also conducts oral interviews with McLaurin, decided to start a crowdfunding campaign to assist her friend, who she said is set on maintaining her own independence.

From ABC News:

“She wants to maintain her independence and be close to her church,” McLaurin’s friend and neighbor Deborah Menkart told ABC News today. “In order for her to stay close to her church and have a place that’s accessible to a person of her age, she needs to raise funds. We’ve been getting an outpouring from people that said they want to help.”

[…]

“This donations page was created so that we can all help her have the resources she needs to live comfortably and to continue her active role in the community,” according to the page titled, “Support for Ms. Virginia McLaurin” on YouCaring.com.

And active she is. McLaurin is a volunteer in an early childhood classroom, serving as a foster grandmother, and is also an advocate of the tenants’ rights organization, Latino Economic Development Center.

So far, the community has donated more than $18,000 to the YouCaring fund. Menkart hopes to reach $50,000 for “core necessities like health care” and comfortable, wheelchair accessible housing, she told ABC News.

You can show your support for McLaurin here.  To see her meet the Obamas if you haven’t, watch below: