Legally blind Saskatoon woman raises money for chance to see again

A Saskatoon woman who has been robbed of sight for over a decade is raising money for a chance to see once again.

Bobbi Janzen is trying to raise $19,000 to purchase a special pair of glasses that will help her see

Bobbi Janzen is fundraising money for special glasses that will help her see. (Bobbi Janzen/Gofundme)

A Saskatoon woman who has been robbed of sight for over a decade is raising money for a chance to see once again.

Bobbi Janzen was diagnosed with a severe case of macular and myopic degeneration 12 years ago. The condition caused her to be legally blind and allowed her only to see shapes and shadows.

I knew I was missing things but I had no idea how much I was missing.- Bobbi Janzen

"They had me charted at about 20/1600, so it's very, very, low vision. I don't have central vision at all," Janzen told CBC Radio's Saskatoon Morning.

"Right in the centre part of your eye where your detail is and a lot of your colour and contrast — all of that, that's gone. It's like when you get out of the shower and the mirror is completely fogged over. That is what I see."

eSight glasses are wearable and non-surgical.

Earlier this month, she was given the opportunity in Toronto to try a pair of eSight glasses.

"I knew I was missing things but I had no idea how much I was missing. To see eyelashes and spots on a banana —just the simple things were so incredibly beautiful," she said.

"I remember seeing my girls' eyes for the last time. I don't see their eyes anymore, so seeing their eyes was, 'Wow!'"

The wearable, non-surgical device is worn over the eyes allowing people with vision loss to see. And in Janzen's case, she said it restores her sight to 20/25.

"It's like a computer. It takes my remaining peripheral vision and puts it onto lenses in front of my eyes and I can magnify it and change the contrast," she explained.  "And so it kind of restores temporarily my central vision. It gives me sight."

But there's only one problem: the technology comes with a price tag of about $19,000.               

Janzen has since started a GoFundMe page to raise money to purchase the glasses. So far, she's managed to raise around $3,000.

She said the glasses would make for a perfect 40th birthday present at the end of May.                    

With files from CBC's Saskatoon Morning