Jaylee’s Story

Jaylee uses a wall in the hallway to orient herself.

Jaylee’s mom, Chevon, looks on in amazement. As she watches her daughter explore and find her way, Chevon begins to share her story.  

Before my daughter Jaylee was even born, I learned that she had septo-optic dysplasia, also called SOD. Because of SOD, her optic nerve would be missing or underdeveloped, which could result in issues ranging from complete blindness to good functional vision. 

The possibility of blindness scared me, but I remained hopeful. After Jaylee was born, I noticed that something might be wrong when I saw a difference in the way Jaylee looked at things compared to my friend’s baby who was about the same age.

Testing done at about five months revealed that Jaylee is blind. I was heartbroken. I cried for days.  And I still cry sometimes when I think about the fact that she can’t see.

The minute Jaylee’s doctor recommended the services of Vision Forward, I pulled myself together and showed up at Vision Forward’s door, glad to know there was a place where my daughter could get special help to learn to live with her blindness. I was also grateful to know that there would be support for me as I raise Jaylee and she learns and grows. I want her to be treated normally, just like every other kid.

Even though my daughter is blind, she is very independent and likes to do things for herself. Like most toddlers she loves cartoons, singing and dancing to her favorite show, Cocomelon, and going to the park to swing—the higher the better! She has no fear. I never even got the chance to help her walk because Jaylee wanted to do it on her own. But walking is really a highlight, and I’m so proud of all that Jaylee has accomplished. 

I can’t wait to see what she does next!

Thank you for investing in Jaylee and others living with vision loss.

Together, with your support, we can positively change the present and future of people of all ages who are blind or visually impaired.