It’s hard enough learning to navigate this big old world as a child, but when you’re trying to learn the ropes without vision it’s even more challenging.
Gavin Stevens has been finding his way in a dark world since he was just 4 months old, when his parents received the devastating confirmation of their fears. Gavin has a rare hereditary retinal disease called Leber’s Congenital Amaurosis (LCA), a condition that has rendered him completely blind.
Gavin is now in fourth grade and is thriving in his Chino, California, home, but his parents Jennifer and Troy Stevens recall the day when they heard that their son was blind. “That was the most devastating day of our life,” Jennifer explained. After his diagnosis, they started a charitable organization in search of a cure for LCA. They also began intensive therapy and special schooling for the preschooler so that he could learn how to get around this big, scary world all by himself.
One day after preschool, Jennifer picked Gavin up and they headed to the car. Normally, Jennifer held Gavin’s hand as they stepped off the curb into the parking lot. Today, however, Gavin was ready for a challenge. “No, I’ll do it,” he told his mom.
Jennifer began to record the moment when Gavin attempted to use his white cane to feel out the curb. This is elementary knowledge for older blind people, but for someone who has never experienced the dangerous feeling of putting your foot into empty space, it must have been terrifying. Still, Gavin persevered, repeating, “I can do it” in his sweet little 4-year-old voice.
“You can do it, baby. Go ahead,” Jennifer encouraged as he tapped his cane tentatively on the pavement. He inched closer and closer, finally dipping his foot lower and touching the ground. “Good job!” Jennifer cheered. She later shared the video online in hopes of encouraging other parents of children with disabilities. “I thought it would be inspiring to other parents of children just starting to use a cane,” she said.
Gavin’s video went viral online, launching him into semi-stardom that even lead to an appearance on “The Steve Harvey Show.” His success with using a cane was just the beginning for this independent boy; soon after this video was shot he began to learn Braille and even learned how to ride a bicycle!
Today, Gavin is thriving and taking risks each day. He’s not one to ever let his different abilities dictate what he can and cannot do in life!
All parents worry about their kids’ safety, but Gavin reminds us how much we have to be grateful for each day. If a child who can’t see can be this brave, what’s holding us back? Let’s all take a page from Gavin’s book and go after what we want no matter what cards life has dealt us!
Watch Gavin learning how to navigate the curb in the video below, and don’t forget to share.
This 4-year-old blind boy stepping off a curb independently for the first time is the best thing you'll see today! 🥰Gavin's Groupies
Posted by It's Gone Viral on Thursday, May 23, 2019
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