Matt's Story

Matt was a sophomore in college on his school’s track and cross-country teams and aspiring to be a dentist when he started losing his vision.  He was driving to cross-country camp in August of 1999 when he realized that he couldn’t read the license plate on the car in front of him.  That started a myriad of tests to determine what was wrong.  At first, doctors couldn’t tell that anything was wrong with his eyes, except for the fact that his vision was getting progressively worse.  It started with one eye, and then the same deteriorating vision began in the second eye.  After a few months, his vision, or what was left of it, stabilized.  After many, many tests, a genetic screening confirmed a hunch – Leber’s Hereditary Optic Neuropathy (LHON).  It is a rare mitochondrial disorder passed down on the mother’s side that typically onsets in late teens/early twenties and predominately affects men.   Over the course of several months he went from 20/20 vision to what doctors call counting fingers.  He relies on his periphery to see and only that gives him blurred vision up to about 10 yards.  He can “count fingers” up to a few feet.  Beyond that, he is blind.  Against the recommendation of doctors and coaches, he refused to give up running.  He not only finished college, but went on to earn an MBA.  A few months later, he moved to the Washington D.C. area to start his career in finance.

1 comment:

  1. Hi, Matt, this is Steve. We just ran a couple miles together along The Mall. It was good to meet you. Thanks for telling me about your quest and this blog. If you ever want to run mid-day on Tues. through Thursday, let me know. Good luck and keep up the hard work!