Kye’s fight for sight

Stirling Times - - FRONT PAGE - Vic­to­ria Ri­fici

LIFE can change in a mat­ter of sec­onds and for Tuart Hill res­i­dent Kye Portelli (15), this was made a re­al­ity when he was told he would go blind, and there was no cure.

The New­man Col­lege Year 9 stu­dent is your av­er­age teen who loves footy and hang­ing out with his mates.

It was not un­til a day at school in June this year, dur­ing NAPLAN test­ing, that Kye re­alised some­thing was not quite right with his eye­sight.

“The only thing, look­ing back, be­fore find­ing out about my di­ag­no­sis was I had a lit­tle trou­ble see­ing at night,” he said.

Mum Jeana Portelli said her son went for tests and was di­ag­nosed with re­tini­tis pig­men­tosa.

“He will lose his vi­sion in both eyes,” she said.

“The words of no cure... I don’t know how I got in my car and drove home that day.”

Re­tini­tis pig­men­tosa is an eye dis­ease where the retina, at the back of the eye, starts to de­gen­er­ate slowly and pro­gres­sively.

Mrs Portelli said the de­gen­er­a­tive eye dis­ease was ge­netic but her and hus­band Shel­don had no his­tory of it.

Her two friends, Carolyn Pavlenko and Natascha King, set up a fundrais­ing page ‘Kye’s Fight for Sight’ to help the fam­ily raise $30,000 for treat­ment.

They also or­gan­ised a Back to the ’80s and ’90s fundrais­ing night on Oc­to­ber 20 in Marist Au­di­to­rium at New­man Col­lege.

Tick­ets are $30 from https://bit.ly/2PlTjXy.

“We don’t have pri­vate health cover,” Mrs Portelli said. “I want to travel to Cal­i­for­nia with my son where he can be pre­scribed vi­ta­mins to keep his eye healthy and to also par­tic­i­pate in mi­cro ther­apy, which will stim­u­late his eye lid and back of the eye.”

The fam­ily has cur­rently raised more than $10,700.

To do­nate go to https://bit.ly/2QqSVXQ.

Pic­ture: Martin Ken­nealey www.com­mu­ni­typix.com.au 487407

Friends of Kye Portelli (15) and his mother Jeana are hop­ing to raise the $30,000 needed for Kye’s eye treat­ment in Cal­i­for­nia.

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