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Bible Hill woman hopes to raise funds for a device that can enhance her vision

Tammy Martin enjoys outings with her husband Derek, daughter Parys and son Ethan, but wishes she could take in what they see.
Tammy Martin enjoys outings with her husband Derek, daughter Parys and son Ethan, but wishes she could take in what they see.

BIBLE HILL, N.S. – Most of us take such things for granted – reading print at a comfortable distance, identifying which car is yours in the parking lot or comprehending what another person is doing just across the room.

For Tammy Martin, the ability to perform such feats stirs a sense of awe.

Tammy was born with optic nerve hypoplasia, a condition where the optic nerves are underdeveloped. She has poor depth perception and everything appears very small, as if she were a considerable distance away.

She hadn’t heard of eSight until her husband, Derek, saw a video on Facebook about a young girl who was using the glasses to watch a hockey game. They learned more about the visual aids and when she went to Ottawa with her father, she visited one of the company’s facilities.

“I tried not to get my hopes up,” Martin said. “Years ago I tried glasses that were supposed to help but they didn’t. With eSight it was amazing. I never thought there would be something in my lifetime that would help so much.

Having eSight would be life-changing for Martin.

Tammy Martin recently had a chance to try out eSight glasses, which allowed her to see things better than she has at any other time in her life.

“I’d be able to see to shop, see the buttons on the stove without leaning over, see steps clearly, and find washrooms in public places. I’d also be able to find my kids in a crowd.”

She hopes to have the glasses so she can watch her son, Ethan, play hockey and her daughter, Parys, march with her cadet troop and play in her school band.

Martin was bullied as a child because she needed special devices to see things and often went over on her ankles due to poor depth perception. That said, she feels what she went through made her a stronger person. Today she takes CTCL buses to get to Cobequid Educational Centre, where she works as an EA.

Relaxing in the evening has its challenges. She has to use a monocular to see the television, which becomes tiring for her arm and wrist.

“One day I thought I could pick up things by myself at the grocery store, but it took me half an hour to find three things and I decided I wouldn’t do that again,” she recalled. “When I pay for things with debit, the cashier has to help me.”

Walking around town is fraught with danger because martin can’t see dips or potholes, and stairs are always difficult.

“My mother said the best gift to give kids is independence so I try to do whatever I can, but it would be so much easier with eSight,” she said.

“I want to let more people know about eSight, too, because not many people know about this and there are probably a lot of people who could be helped.”

lynn.curwin@trurodaily.com

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The eSight device Tammy Martin hopes to acquire costs $9,995 US and she and her family are now on a fundraising journey. About $1,500 has been raised through a Giving page. For more, go to http://giving.esighteyewear.com/tammy-martin

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