Legally blind Kingsport woman raising money for magnification glasses

Holly Viers • Jul 15, 2018 at 2:30 PM

KINGSPORT — About 11 years ago, Kristie Jones was living a relatively normal life.

Though she had been diagnosed with idiopathic intracranial hypertension — also known as pseudotumor cerebri — several years earlier, Jones was still able to work, drive and do most any activity she wanted to do.

That all changed in 2007, when Jones noticed that her vision was becoming abnormally blurry. Though she didn’t think anything of it at first, her symptoms began to worsen until she could see only in black and white.

Jones decided to pay a visit to her eye doctor, where she received some disheartening news.

“The doctor recommended that I go immediately to the hospital and see the neurologist on call,” Jones said. “I was in the hospital for seven days straight.”

Doctors discovered that Jones’s pseudotumor cerebri was the source of the problem. The condition causes her body to release an abundant amount of spinal fluid, and her brain had begun viewing her body as a tumor.

“That’s where the ‘pseudotumor’ comes in,” Jones said. “My body fights back against me on numerous things like thyroid problems, diabetes, ringing in the ears, the pins and needles effect.”

The condition has also made Jones legally blind. She can no longer work, drive a vehicle or perform certain day-to-day tasks, like reading medicine bottles or signing checks, on her own.

As she had begun to accept that her life would never be the same, Jones discovered a light at the end of the tunnel last year: A special kind of magnification classes, made by eSight, could help her see again.

The only problem, Jones said, is the $10,000 price tag.

“I contacted eSight … and they got me a (fundraising) website started,” Jones said. “I had $200 donated within 24 hours. So far, I have gotten $650 donated, and I have two places that have given me pledges. So now I’m working not only on the donations, but I’m working on pledges, too.”

Jones, who tried out a sample pair of the glasses last September, said they would greatly improve her quality of life. Though she will never be able to drive again, the glasses would allow her to resume almost every other aspect of her life.

“Any donation is greatly appreciated,” Jones said. “It would really change my life if I did get these glasses. I’m just really excited to get them, and every little donation that I get just makes me so happy.”

To read more of Jones’s story or to make a donation, visit giving.esighteyewear.com/glassesforKristie.

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