Chicago Chapter Featured Volunteer

hayes_family_in_mexico_2012_2Amy Hayes joined the Foundation in November 2011 after finding out her 11-year-old son, Nathan, was diagnosed with a severe early onset of Retinitis Pigmentosa. After reaching out to the Foundation and learning about the Chicago VisionWalk, Amy created and registered her team, Team Focus, to help raise money toward FFB’s mission. Amy is also a member of the Chicago Walk Committee and attends Chapter meetings where she and her family can reach out to those affected by a retinal degenerative disease.

In the recent months, Amy and her family have brought passion to the Foundation through their dynamic personalities, hard work, and dedication. Amy and her husband, Nathan, have three children; Nathan (11), Teagan (10) and Kacy (8). Their team, Team Focus, is named after Focus Martial Arts which is located in Lake in the Hills and owned by Sensei Jim O'Hara. Focus Martial Arts is a very special place for the Hayes family. It’s where Nathan and his sister take karate lessons and Amy and her husband train. Jim O’Hara helped the family in designing a logo for Team Focus. The logo is printed on their team shirts and their shirts are being sold for $10 each to go toward their team's goal.

Nathan and his DogSince registering Team Focus to the Chicago VisionWalk, Amy has raised over $9,000 and recruited over 60 walkers with the help of family, friends and her husband's co-workers at the Arlington Heights Police Department. Amy is happy to report that she and her family are just getting started. The team has several more walkers to register and a generous amount of money continues to come in. A recent donation of$371.39 came to the Foundation from Nathan's class, Mrs. Curry’s 5th grade classroom at Briargate School in Cary. The donation was made after the children in the classroom donated pennies and anonymously voted on their donation going toward The Foundation Fighting Blindness on behalf of Nathan. The Hayes family feels blessed to have family, friends and co-workers that are very giving and loving of Nathan whom they know as a unique and smart boy, who loves talking to adults and making an impression anywhere he goes.

Below is poem written by Teagan, for her brother Nathan.

If I Couldn't See
By Teagan Hayes

If I couldn't see,
I'd be in my dreams,
I'd feel my way around,
and try not to fall down.
I'd listen and hear
With my very own ears,
I'd ask for help,
So I could get around.
Then I'd memorize my whole town.
The streets, the walls,
and the turns, too.
Then I'd imagine
the sky so blue.

For more information about our Chicago VisionWalk, please visit the website here.

Nathan with his sisters

The Hayes Family in Mexico