My fiancé, Blake, was diagnosed with Coats’ Disease at a very young age. This led to Blake having his right eye surgically removed in 2000, at the young age of just eight years old. Since that surgery, Blake has had multiple glass eyes, as he (and his eye socket) grew. Today, Blake is 27 years old, soon to be 28, and has had his current eye for nearly 12 years, although it doesn’t fit quite right. We are doing our best now to come up with the money to purchase his new, and hopefully, last glass eye.
Throughout the years, Blake didn’t let his blindness withhold him from participating in things he loves. He played baseball continuously throughout his childhood and through high school. He also began training in martial arts at age four and has now been in it for 23 years. He is a 4th degree black belt and has been an instructor for 10 years.
Blake is an inspiration and I think his story can inspire others, so I want to help him share it! I love him with all my heart and he is too kind to get recognition for anything unless someone else gives it to him.
Among the amazing accomplishments Blake has achieved in his life, his story also highlighted the difficulty with needing a new prosthetic eye and not being able to afford one. After his story was shared on social media, we received a message from a gentleman, by the name of Brady, offering to help. He wrote, “I know from my personal experience how much discomfort a poorly fitting eye can cause. I also had a lot of stress before my wedding thinking how ‘my eye’ would appear in our wedding photos. So, there was an emotional reaction on my end when I saw where Blake was at.” After connecting the two, Brady went to work within his own network and quickly raised the money Blake needed for his new eye!
According to Jessica, the gift Brady was able to provide has been life changing. “After Blake’s story was shared, we were contacted by an incredibly kind man who managed to raise money to be donated towards a new glass eye for Blake!” After a few emails between the two, Blake was able to connect with a new ocularist much closer to where he lived than his previous one. “After only a few appointments, Blake was fitted with a new eye that is much more comfortable for him and looks amazing!”
The power of a story and the impact it can have is inspiring when looking at Brady and his selfless and compassionate response to Blake’s situation. For Jessica and Blake, it is something they will never forget. “We want to thank the Jack McGovern Coats’ Disease Foundation for sharing our story and connecting us with Mr. Brady! We’d also like to give a BIG thank you to Mr. Brady for helping us cover more than 80% of the cost of Blake’s new eye. We have managed to completely pay off his eye and are so grateful. Thank you, again, to all involved. We are blessed to have found the Coats’ Foundation!”
Blake and Jessica were married this weekend. Congratulations to the couple and a huge THANK YOU to Brady for stepping in and helping a fellow Coats’ patient.