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Grover Beach Family Shares Struggle with LCA

10 year old Anthony Ingram blinded by extremely rare disease

GROVER BEACH, Calif. - At only ten years old, Anthony Ingram is comfortable dealing with the media.

"I've been interviewed many times actually, radio and TV, Anthony says.

Anthony says he never lets his blindness get in the way of everyday life.

"Mainly going to school, learning Braille and doing all that stuff, and in the summer I'm usually crazy, if we go to the beach", Anthony says during an interview on the Pismo Pier Wednesday night, "yeah, just getting in there."

Anthony was diagnosed with Leber's Congenital Amaurosis, or LCA, months after he was born and has been blind ever since.

"The gene that Anthony has is a dominant gene and it's the only one of the 19 known genes that cause LCA", says Anthony's mother Karrie Ingram, "to date we are only aware of 13 other children and adults that have the LCA CRX gene just like Anthony does, so its extremely rare."

The Ingram family has established a non-profit foundation in Anthony's name and a website to raise public awareness about LCA and money to help fund research for a cure.

"We actually got to meet one little guy, he's not little anymore, he's in high school now, who has his vision back", Karrie Ingram says, "he was able to turn his cane in that night, so there's hope, and to have that as a mom is pretty incredible."

"Like any parent you're devastated when you receive the news that your child is blind", Karrie Ingram says, "you process it and our choice was to conquer and face it head on, my husband and I, and that's what we have done, Anthony is now an active, non-stop ten year old little boy."

Anthony and his father, a California Highway Patrol officer, notified the Grover Beach City Council on Monday about a 5K walk/run fundraiser on the beach next to the Pismo Pier next month.

"That is our hope that someday there will be a cure and he will be able to see", Karrie Ingram says, "that's our whole point of the Foundation and to bring awareness so when people see Anthony out in the community, they're not afraid, he's just blind and that's what we tell everybody, there is nothing else wrong with him, he's just blind."

Anthony says he takes every day in stride.

"I think that even if there is no cure yet I honestly think that, because I listened to a book one time about a blind man who survived 9-11, so if he can do that, I can certainly do other things too", Anthony says.

To learn more about Anthony, LCA and the 5K fundraiser on the beach next month, go to the website, anthonysseeingisbelieving.com.


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