St. John’s Record Hop Reunion Helps 1965 AHS Classmate
October 16, 2015
by Doug Robinson
AHS 1965 graduate Rodney Bellerive had a party thrown in his honor to raise money for the purchase of adaptive equipment to help him see better.
Suffering from degenerative Stargardts disease, Rodney has experienced a worsening of his eyesight since first diagnosed in 1991. Studies show that one in 8,000 people is affected by this disease, and there is no cure. His eye sight, when last tested, was 20/1000. This means that he is legally blind.
“When we were at Alvirne High School, we all used to have fun at the St. John’s Record Hop. During my 50th class reunion earlier this year, my classmates thought that this would be a fun thing to do for me, so that we could raise money for my new glasses.” The record hop featured songs played from the 1960s. Music from Elvis, Beatles, Beach Boys, and more filled the Hudson VFW with foot-tapping music. Tables were topped with chips, dips, pretzels, and nips while song sing-along occurred frequently.
All came to help Rodney raise money to purchase his glasses from eSight.
eSight writes, “Our glasses are packed with sophisticated technology designed to support people with legal blindness. eSight is hand-free, mobile, and multi-use, which means that users can move seamlessly between activities, including those that would otherwise be inaccessible due to low vision.”
“The headset” continues eSight, “houses high –definition camera, OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diode) screens, and multiple supporting technologies used to capture and display a real-time video feed. The headset is mounted on carrier frames, which enable eSight’s propriety ‘bioptic tilt,’ a feature that allows the user to shift between viewing modes and engage their peripheral vision.
Bellerive commented that when he tried on the glasses, “My vision went from 20/1000 to 40.”
“The transition to being blind can be difficult” writes Bellerive on the GoFundMe account that has been set up for him. “As a sighted man I was a dog groomer, an avid reader and a runner. I ran the Boston marathon until it became impossible because of my vision. My new reality swiftly changed as my vision dimmed. I live alone now and function quite well. I have a sight cane and I often walk three to five hours a day. I cook and clean my own apartment and use public transportation.”
He continues, “Then, what I believed was impossible, became possible with eSight glasses. A new technology, that helps people who are legally blind actually see. I began to dream of a day when I could see my son’s face again. The last time I saw him, he was a very young man. Now in his forties, I long to see his smile.
“Just being able to simply recognize people who greet me along my life’s journey would be a blessing. Being able to walk into the mall food court and be able to read a menu, and know the price, to be able to read a book again, or go to a movie, watch the Super Bowl, read a street sign would profoundly change my life.
“I was well adjusted to my fate in life, when hope came knocking at my door.
“Do I dare to hope? Hope comes at a price. eSight glasses are $15,000. My pockets are empty. I need your help in raising funds to make this a reality. Every donation will go to paying for these glasses. With your help the gift of sight will make a profound difference in my life.”
The cost of the eSight glasses are “around $15,000” stated Bellerive. To access the account for the purpose of making a donation, visit: www.gofundme.com/mcyzng.