Getting a good look at the world

By Nick Seebruch

Published on May 17, 2017

Ayden Brunet, 11, is hoping to get glasses that will substantially help his vision (Nick Seebruch/ TC Media).

CORNWALL, Ontario - Ayden Brunet, 11, suffers from a rare congential eye defect which severely limits his field of vision and ability to focus.

Nystagmus prevents Ayden from seeing more than 20 feet in front of him. He needs to sit in the middle of the front row in class at school to see the board and needs to be only a few feet away from the TV.

Ayden said he realized how bad his vision was while playing the popular game Minecraft, where everything in the world is shaped like blocks.

"I realized that without my glasses, to me things look like they do in Minecraft, all pixelated," he said.

Ayden's mother Amanda, said that her father had Nystagmus, but at the time, they did not know he could pass it on to Ayden through her.

Ayden't family hopes to raise more than $13, 000 to be able to buy special glasses for Ayden.

The glasses, made by eSight, are battery powered digital devices that will auto-focus Ayden's vision for him.

It will also allow him to play computer games or use tablet devisces without looking at a screen as the lenses of his glasses can act as a display.

Ayden also will no longer need to sit at the front of the class as his eSight glasses would have a 24x zoom.

To raise the money for the glasses, the Brunet's are hoping to hold three fundraisers.

The first is a car wash and BBQ on June 3 at HG Wells in Ingelside. On June 10 they will be holding a scrapbooking convention at the Optimist Club in Cornwall and on June 21, they will be having a paint night at the Grand Hotel in Martintown.

Donations raised from these events will go to help cover the cost of Ayden's new glasses.

Ayden's father Eric has said that they have already seen support from the community and from other parts of Canada.

"We have had cheques dropped off at our front door anonymously," he said. "Also we've had emails of support from places like Alberta from people who have also dealt with this."

While the new glasses wil greatly assist with Ayden's vision, there currently is no surgical cure for his eye condition.

It is estimated that 1 in 3, 000 have Nystagmus, but Ayden's case has created a buzz in the local medical community and some local doctors are currently discussing future treatment options for Ayden and others.

"There's not a lot now, but who's to say there won't be in three to four years," Ayden said.