Community puts best foot forward to help vision impaired 3rd-grader - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Community Focus

Community puts best foot forward to help vision impaired 3rd-grader

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Posted: Saturday, March 24, 2012 7:11 am | Updated: 2:08 pm, Wed Feb 27, 2013.

The last two years have been a time of adjustment for the Crosby family. It wasn’t until the youngest of the family, Abby, 8, started going to school, that they discovered she had a problem with her vision that was most likely present from birth.

Abby was diagnosed with a genetic disease called cone dystrophy two years ago. It affects her retinas and greatly impacts her central vision, forcing her to use her peripheral vision for most daily activities.

With the help of her school, Abby has had little trouble adapting to the responsibilities as a third-grader at Kyrene de la Colina Elementary. And for the second year in a row, she and her family are calling upon their friends to put their charitable foot forward and either sponsor Abby or commit themselves to the Arizona 5K VisionWalk to support the Foundation Fighting Blindness.

Last year her team, Abby’s All-Stars, brought in $1,800 and this year they have already beaten that total, reaching $2,255 with more than a week to go before the walk.

“Last year was amazing, it was a great way to meet other people with similar issues,” Amber Crosby, Abby’s mom, said. “And (the Foundation Fighting Blindness) is doing great things and we hope that one day they can find a cure for not just Abby’s, but all forms of retinal disorders.”

They say Abby’s diagnosis came as a surprise because it is genetic and they had no known family members who were ever diagnosed.

Abby has gone through genetic testing but, even after two years, they are still waiting to find out if they can identify the gene marker.

“They told us there was only a 50 percent chance they could identify it,” Amber said. “So it is definitely worth it to try.”

They have 48 walkers signed up to take on the Arizona 5K VisionWalk, which takes place March 31 at Steele Indian School Park, 300 E. Indian School Road in Phoenix, to be a part of Abby’s All-Stars. Last year, they had 17 total.

“It’s cool to see that many people come out and there were a lot of kids last time that had vision problems like me,” Abby said. “Some of them were better and some were worse.”

If you want to support Abby’s All-Stars, visit their team page located on the walk website, www.visionwalk.org. You can sign up to walk the day of the event, which begins at 8 a.m.

• Contact writer: (480) 898-4903 or troemhild@ahwatukee.com

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