EASTVALE (CBSLA.com) — A 4-year-old blind Eastvale boy has inspired thousands online after he took his first steps off a curb by himself.
Gavin Stevens, who was born with a rare genetic retina condition called Leber’s congenital amaurosis, used a cane to take the “leap of faith.”
“It was cool,” said Gavin, who typically gets help down stairs or curbs from his brother or parents. “I like to do (things) myself.”
His mother, Jennifer, recorded the triumph and posted the video on YouTube, which immediately went viral.
“He said, ‘No, I want to (step off the curb by myself).’ So he pushed me away. So I stepped back and videotaped it,” she said.
Jennifer said she decided to show the world the video to raise awareness for her son’s eye disease.
“(It) impairs 3,000 people in the country. It’s a hereditary condition and it affects children at birth,” she said.
Troy, Gavin’s father, said, “Even more rare, in Gavin’s condition, there’s only approximately 150 people with his gene mutation.”
The boy’s parents started the Gavin R. Stevens Foundation about three years ago to help others in the same situation.
“We know how empty we felt when we were told our son was blind and there was really nowhere to turn,” said Troy.
The family is also raising money to find a cure for the condition.
“They’ve restored some vision in roughly 30 to 40 people. So it is a very big possibility that that kind of procedure can be relative to Gavin’s gene mutation,” said Troy.
Jennifer said she hopes Gavin is able to walk without a cane some day.
“We have the same expectations for him as we do our older son Landon. He’s going to be independent, he’s going to be happy. We never want anyone to feel sorry for him because we don’t want him to feel sorry for himself,” she said.