Hometown Hero: Kai Owens - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Hometown Hero: Kai Owens

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BROOKLET, GA (WTOC) -

Kai Owens may lack eyesight, but not vision.

The 11 year old from Brooklet began having eye problems a little more than a year ago.

 

"I started having trouble with schoolwork, homework, reading," he explained.

 

"We noticed him touching things as he moved around and he didn't seem to stay still. He was always moving around," noted his mom, Kim.

 

After months of tests, doctors told the family he had Retinitis pigmentosa, a typically genetic disease that quickly robs sufferers of their sight. In Owens' case, it has turned to tunnel vision. He sees 10 percent in one eye, 15 percent in the other.

 

At night, his vision is worse, and that raises his anxiety.

 

"He goes to bed and surrounds himself with pillows and blankets," Kim said. "One night, he just commented that he felt sorry for kids who didn't have soft things to comfort them."

 

That's when he and his family got the idea to collect such soft things and distribute them to other children with vision problems. They carried bags of them to the Georgia Academy for the Blind in Macon. He's distributed roughly 200 items so far.

 

"He's learning to be an advocate for himself and for others. And all the while, he's learning to read Braille. He's learning to walk with a cane. He's not letting it hold him back," his mom added.

 

"I just figured God had something he wanted me to do and I wanted to help people," Kai said.

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