World Sight Day: Zak's Story

LAS VEGAS (KSNV News3LV) - For many, October is a month for breast cancer awareness, but one local mom is helping shine a light on another cause this month. Thursday is World Sight Day.

News 3's Heather Kopperman's 5-year-old son Zak was born with a condition known as Optic Nerve Hypoplasia. The disorder means that Zak sees the world through one eye. But that hasn't stopped him from doing the things that kids his age normally do. In fact, he's not afraid of being a little different.

"This eye is blind," said Zak.
"Does that scare you?" asks his mother Heather.
"Nope. Because I'm brave," said Zak.

In this News 3 Digital Exclusive, see how having a vision impairment isn't slowing down Zak. He's pushing the limits.

World Sight Day is typically celebrated the second Thursday in October. It is a global event:

"To raise public awareness of blindness and vision impairment as major international public health issues. To influence governments, particularly health ministers, to participate in and designate funds for national blindness prevention programs. To educate target audiences about blindness prevention, about VISION 2020 and its activities, and to generate support for VISION 2020 program activities," VISION 2020.

The world's population is aging and people are living longer but blindness from chronic conditions is also rising, according to WHO. About 80 percent of the world's 45 million blind people are aged over 50 years. About 90 percent of blind people live in low-income countries, where older people, especially older women, face barriers to getting the necessary eye health care. Yet, many age-related conditions leading to blindness - such as cataract, refractive error and glaucoma - can be easily and cheaply treated or cured. Timely intervention can often delay or reduce their effects on vision.

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