CKNW Orphans’ Fund: 8-year-old needed vision therapy

Jason won 'Patient of the Month' for his work in vision therapy. Submitted by the Shipely family.

Jason Shipley loves to read every night before he goes to bed, but that wasn’t always the case.

The Grade 3 student started having trouble being able to read and concentrate on the words.

“His teachers weren’t sure what was going on,” says his mom Leora.

“His comprehension was good but he wasn’t able to read easily. It got to the point where he wouldn’t even look at a book. His confidence went down because all his friends were reading and he wasn’t able to.”

She took him for his yearly eye exam and that is when they discovered Jason had Hyperopia, binocular dysfunction and occulomotor dysfunction. These conditions severely affect his reading abilities and overall functioning at school. It was recommended Jason receive vision therapy to help him.

“His eye sight is fine,” says Leora, “it was how he’s able to track and read.”

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It was recommended Jason attend vision therapy once a week, for six months, and then perform daily exercises. Leora says the family was able to cover three months, but needed help with the rest.

That is when they reached out to the CKNW Orphans’ Fund.

They knew about the organization because Jason’s older brother has a physical disability and they have helped him in the past. The Orphans’ Fund was able to provide $1,495 for three months of Jason’s therapy.

He actually completed seven months of therapy and now he loves reading.

“It’s made such a huge difference,” says Leora. “If we would have left it, it would have been so much harder.”

Jason and his family. Submitted by the Shipley family.

The CKNW Orphans’ Fund is dedicated “to promoting the health and welfare of physically, mentally and socially challenged, as well as those children in B.C. who have been orphaned from society.”

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The organization gives the money directly to the third party, not to the family.

“I can’t say enough about it,” says Leora. “We also have a child with a disability so there’s so much expense that goes along with that, and we didn’t want our younger son to miss out on something he needed.”

“With government cutbacks, etc., it is getting harder for families to access certain services. This has made a huge difference for Jason and our family. Without his vision therapy, it is a very real possibility that he would have required learning support, etc.”

“Identifying the problem was, obviously, a large part, but then being able to access the needed therapy was so huge for us and has made a life long impact for Jason.”

The CKNW Orphans’ Fund is holding their annual pledge day on Friday, December 6. To make a donation and help check out their website.

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