Ahwatukee 3rd grader and mom walk to fight blindness

AHWATUKEE, AZ - Abby Crosby is just like any other 8-year-old girl, in most respects.

She loves her dolls – and, enjoys playing outside and making crafts.

But, behind Abby's baby blues is a challenge.

With 20/200 corrected vision, this Awhatukee 3rd grader is legally blind.

Her mother, Amber Crosby, says doctors don't know how bad it will get.

"She could go completely dark, her vision could stay exactly where it's at now, or she could be any point in between," Crosby said.

Abby has a form of retinitis pigmentosa called cone dystrophy -- a genetic eye disease that distorts her vision.

Diagnosed when she was six, Abby uses her peripheral vision too see.

"In our family, we have no history of it," said Crosby. "So, it's an anomaly. It must be starting with her – or, it's so far back in our family lines, no one is alive to tell us it was there."

Despite her disability, Abby has participated in many sports-- -including soccer and cheerleading.

Other activities like softball, and, later driving, are off limits.

"For her, there's not that mourning or grief of I lost something, or I can't do something," Crosby said. "Because, there's nothing she can't do in her mind."

There are accommodations in school that must be made.

For example, Abby uses Zoom Text on her computer and large-print text books.

A special magnifier allows her to read regular print.

"The closer you get the bigger it goes," explains Abby. "And, the farther it (magnifier) gets, the smaller."

While it's uncertain now, Abby's mom hopes that when it comes to her daughter's vision she'll have a bright, clear future.

"Hopefully, one day there is a treatment or a cure for all rare, genetic eye diseases," Crosby said.

The Foundation Fighting Blindness is holding its annual Arizona 5-K Vision Walk Saturday morning at Steele Indian School Park in Phoenix.

The organization hopes to raise $85,000 for research into eye diseases, like Abby's.

Click here to get more information and sign up for the walk.

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