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My Story


“For we walk by faith, not by sight.”

2 Corinthians 5:7


“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

Philippians 4:13

“Evan, your test results have determined your declining vision is caused by a disease called Leber’s Hereditary Optic Neuropathy.  LHON is a mitochondrial inherited disease that causes the sudden loss of central vision in the eyes.  There is no cure at the present time. “, stated the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute specialist.


As I sat there with my family, I couldn’t believe what I was being told!  I was losing my sight, and my twelve-year old life was going to change drastically! Frightening consequences suddenly flooded my brain: 

How would I play baseball that I loved?

Watching TV and video gaming with my friends would be difficult!

How would I be able to read, write, and do my school work effectively?

I did not understand why this was happening to me, but I knew God had a plan.  As I prayed for answers, I was reminded of my favorite verse from Philippians 4:13: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”


Over the next year, I lost a large percentage of my central vision leaving me legally blind.  This loss impacted every facet of my life: academics, athletics, and social interactions.  Focusing on my education, my family and I researched and explored how to use the vast array of technology tools available for the visually impaired.  Caring teachers suggested additional adaptation tools for me to try.  The learning curve, although quite steep at the start of my new journey, became easier with daily effort, helpful professional assistance, and lots of practice.  My academic success continued to improve with my determination to work harder and to implement new and different avenues to learn.


Through my twelve-year old eyes, however, my most devastating problem was not being able to play the game of baseball I loved.  Although baseball was no longer a feasible option, I discovered a new team sport and challenge, basketball.  Fortunately, I was blessed with above average height, agility, running speed, and very good peripheral vision that would be important in achieving my new goal.  I dedicated myself to the game.  Obviously, with my central vision impairment, I often experienced frustration passing, shooting, and guarding opponents without fouling.  However, I was determined to never give up and keep working to improve.  Failure was not an option I would accept. 


Over the last six years, my coaches and trainers have instructed me to improve my skills, and my teammates have pushed one another to aim higher and become better players working together. To prepare for greater success, I have coordinated optional six a.m. practices before school, along with daily after school workouts too.  Off season I joined AAU basketball teams to enhance my competitive experiences with additional drills and offensive/defensive strategies.  After games I reviewed videos with my dad’s constructive critique to improve my overall play on the court.  My confidence and knowledge playing the game of basketball continues to emerge and grow.


The process of overcoming my visual disability has been challenging but has taught me the value of perseverance to overcome my weaknesses to the best of my ability and capitalize on my God-given strengths.  Often when people observe me play basketball for the first time and later learn of my visual impairment, they frequently are amazed and ask, “How is it possible for you to play basketball so well?”  I respond, “Hard work and I never lost my faith.  I know this is God’s plan for me!  I have an all-encompassing trust and faith in Christ to guide me forward.”  My daily mantra I know to be true is, “For we walk by faith, not by sight. “, 2 Corinthians 5:7.


The opportunity to share my story with others is a valuable, serving opportunity to spread my faith and the importance of believing in yourself!  Today, I’m proud to be in my second year on my school’s varsity basketball team’s starting five and a team captain.

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