Not losing sight

CAITLYN DEVEREAUX holds a poster she made that shows the results of one of her eye tests — for people with normal vision, the area in the middle would be filled in like the rest of the circle. “She doesn’t see anything in the middle of her eye,” said Caitlyn’s father, Greg. Caitlyn uses the poster during her informative speech for her high school speech team. Photo / Per Peterson

Sixteen-year-old Caitlyn Devereaux keeps a positive attitude despite her vision issues that will prevent her from doing normal things, like getting her hands on her driver’s license

By Per Peterson

Caitlyn Devereaux is a normal 16-year-old girl from anyone’s point of view.

Except hers.

Devereaux, a sophomore at Tracy Area High School, has numerous friends. She’s on the speech team. She runs track and cross country. And she loves to drive her parents crazy from time to time.

But she’s not exactly normal, at least not when it comes to her vision.

Devereaux, the daughter of Greg and Renee Devereaux, suffers from what is known as macular dystrophy; her retinal specialist is sure she has a case of juvenile macular degeneration.

“The genetic testing hasn’t said that yet,” said Caitlyn’s mother, Renee. “But he’s 99% sure.”

There are three different types of juvenile macular degeneration, a condition that breaks down the macula and results in central vision loss. One in 10,000 children in the U.S. suffer from the condition.

Caitlyn’s condition goes beyond typical eye issues. It’s bad enough that she will never be able carry a drivers’ license.

“It sucks now,” she said. “But I can’t change it … it’s super fun having parents drop you off — everywhere.”

It’s with that kind of sense of humor — and a touch of her father’s sarcasm — that helps Caitlyn deal with something none of her friends have to endure.

“Now we have to worry about, not her driving, but who she’s driving with,” Greg said. “Who is the driver?”

“I’m sure it’s probably harder for her,” added Renee. “Here’s mom, having to drive her everywhere. As a sophomore getting dropped off, and it’s mom every time, versus the other kids, who are driving their own cars.”

See this week’s Headlight Herald for more on this article.