WINCHESTER, Va. - A Virginia community has come together to give a little girl who is legally blind an amazing gift. They are raising money to help her family afford special glasses so that she can see clearly for the very first time.
Daylyn Mauck was born with a condition called septo-optic dysplasia, so her vision is extremely limited. The 9-year-old girl sways her head from side to side so she can catch glimpses of light and color. She learned the shapes of letters and numbers through touch by holding foam toys. But when it comes to reading, which is her favorite thing to do, she has to rely on Braille.
It is all about to change because very soon, hopefully by the time she enters fourth grade this fall, Mauck will have her own pair of eSight glasses. She tried them on during a demo in Arlington and there was a moment she and her mother will never forget.
“She turned around and looked at me,” Sidney Butler recalled. “She said, ‘Mommy, I see you.’”
“I saw my mommy and she looked pretty,” said the young girl.
“An absolute miracle,” her mother told us. “I didn’t think there was ever going to be anything that was going to be able to help her. When she was first born and I found out she wasn’t going to be able to see, I thought that was it. So the fact that there is even something out there, there is hope. It is just the most amazing feeling that any parent could ever have.”
The eSight glasses allow users to magnify the world around them and adjust for color, lighting and contrast. With them, Mauck was able to read rows of an eye chart from ten feet away. But it is expensive technology.
Mauck’s aide, Beverly McHale, is by her side in class every day. She first learned about eSight when she saw a clip about it on television. With her help through Orchard View Elementary School in Winchester and a GoFundMe page, the family is very close to the $15,000 they need to raise for the glasses.
Some local business owners are also helping out. Diane’s Diner set up a collection box for customers to contribute for Mauck’s glasses. They are also holding a spaghetti dinner fundraiser on Saturday.
“The opportunity that would come along and would allow anybody to see again, I think it’s just fantastic,” said Mike Ashby, the co-owner of the diner. “She is such a sweetheart.”
Mauck can’t wait to see her baby brother due in October.
“She will be able to pretty much experience the world with him,” said her mother. “She will be able to see things that he is seeing too.”
The young girl may only be able to see fragments of light, but this little girl lights up the room. Her proud mother said any penny they raise over the $15,000 will go to help other visually-impaired kids, starting with one of Mauck’s classmates.
“We want to give every child a chance to see the world,” said Butler. “Everybody should have hope.”