Fundraising dinner today to help student with Marfan syndrome

Published on Tuesday, 20 June 2017 21:54
Written by Gabrielle Raymond

Special to the Press

PLAINVILLE - Andrew Blake, a recent Middle School of Plainville graduate, will be one step closer to life-changing eyesight after a pasta dinner fundraiser at Lola’s Bistro today.

The family is charging $15 for adults, $10 for children and $45 for families with up to six people in order to help their son. He suffers from Marfan syndrome - a genetic disorder, which in his case, has caused the lenses in his eyes to slowly dislocate.

The Blake family tried many surgeries to fix Andrew’s eyesight, but when doctors said his eyes were too unstable for the surgeries to help, they began researching other options. In time his parents, Bill and Stacy, found a company called eSight, which makes special glasses that allow even people who are legally blind to see.

According to the eSight website, a high-definition camera would capture everything around Blake and then display the images on an OLED screen in front of his eyes so he can achieve normal vision.

“When he tried on the demo glasses the reaction on my son’s face was priceless and I knew we had to get them for him,” said his father, Bill Blake.

The family has already raised a little over $6,700 by putting together in a number of fundraisers, including a booth at the “Wings and Wheels Festival” at Robertson Airport and an official fundraising page on the eSight website.

The family needs $10,000 in total, but as soon as at they hit the $8,000 mark eSight will start making the customized glasses.

“Our oldest son, Austin, knows how difficult high school can be, and he is hoping, like we all are, that Andrew can get the glasses before the end of the summer so he can start high school with a clean slate,” said Bill Blake.

Austin Blake, a recent graduate, has put together an Instagram campaign to help his brother, which will culminate on Friday night from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Plainville High School auditorium. The #HelpAndrewSee concert will feature a lineup of Plainville-based artists, including rapper Nick Costantini, the band Ten Thousand Hours, Jordan Nicholson, and finally, Say What You Will, as the headlining band.

“The best way to bring people together is good music and a good time,” said Austin Blake, who is asking for $10 donations for admission to the concert.

The family is hoping with the proceeds from the Lola’s Bistro pasta dinner as well as Austin’s #HelpAndrewSee concert Friday that they will be able to order the glasses before the end of June. The eSight glasses take five weeks to make, so ordering them as soon as possible will give Andrew time to adjust to them before he makes the big jump to high school in the fall.


WHAT: Fundraiser for Andrew Blake

WHERE: Lola’s Bistro, 161 Woodford Ave., Plainville

WHEN: From 5pm to 8pm

COST: $15 for adults, $10 for children and $45 dollars for families

Posted in New Britain Herald, Business, New Britain, Plainville on Tuesday, 20 June 2017 21:54. Updated: Tuesday, 20 June 2017 21:56.