Oswego Mom Hopes for Gift of Sight
Aug 09, 2016 08:54PM ● Published by Shannon Antinori
Kelly Dorsey with fiance Eric Janisch and daughter Sophia. (Photo provided by Kelly Dorsey)
Most mothers will never forget the first time they laid eyes on their children – and for many, that moment came in the delivery room.
It’s a different story for Oswego mom Kelly Dorsey, who saw her 3-year-old daughter Sophia’s face for the first time on June 22. Dorsey, 36, suffers from Bardet-Biedl syndrome, a degenerative disease that, over time, rendered her legally blind.
On June 22, Dorsey went to Chicago for a demonstration from eSight, a company that manufactures electronic glasses.
“That last time I saw my mom’s face was 17 years ago,” said Dorsey. “When I saw my mom, I could do nothing but cry.”
Dorsey was also able to see her fiance, Eric Janisch, for the first time in years. But seeing Sophia was indescribable, she said.
“She just has a light in her that just makes you want to smile,” Dorsey said.
eSight glasses allow users to change the background and contrast. “There are cameras inside of them that increase the magnification or change the contrast for anybody who has trouble with contrast,” Dorsey explained. The glasses can also change the colors of letters, making reading easier for people with visual impairments or color blindness.
Dorsey's goals go beyond just restoring her vision.
Because the glasses are not covered by insurance, Dorsey has launched a GoFundMe campaign to help her raise the $15,000 she needs to purchase eSight glasses – and go back to school.
“I have a semester and a half of college under my belt,” she said. Dorsey wants to major in human services so she can work as a disability counselor.
“I want to get off disability and be a productive member of society,” she said. “I want to help people cope. Having a vision disability, you get depressed, you get down. The thing that has helped me is my family – I have a really good support system.”
Dorsey said she wants to be that support system for others who need it.
“All I really want to do is help people,” Dorsey said, adding that she believes eSight can allow her to watch her daughter grow up.
“Most importantly, I want to show my daughter that she will always have me by her side, just as my mother has always been by mine,” she said. “I’ll be able to read her a book, watch a movie with her,” she added. “I could go on walks with her and know I can keep her safe.”
Donations can be made via Dorsey’s GoFundMe page. Checks payable to eSight, with “Kelly Dorsey eSight glasses” can also be mailed directly to the company at:
156 Front St. W, Suite #601
Canada M5J 2L6