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Doctor & Blind Patient Run Boston Marathon To Help Each Other

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WBZ-TV's Paul Burton (Photo: WBZ-TV) Paul Burton
Paul Burton is a general assignment reporter for WBZ-TV News. Burto...
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BOSTON (CBS) – Everyone has a reason for running the Boston Marathon on Monday.

But for one doctor and patient duo, they’re running to help each other.

WBZ-TV’s Paul Burton reports

Will McNamara broke his back five years ago in a horrific biking accident.

He was paralyzed from the neck down. Miraculously, doctors were able to heal him, but he woke up from the surgery blind.

Today he can only see images peripherally.

“To be able to see again would be the greatest gift anyone can give,” said McNamara.

Rather than sit around and wait for a cure, Will’s doing something about it.

Monday will be his third time running the marathon for Team Mass Eye and Ear.

He runs to help raise money for research, so he and others like him can have a much better quality of life.

Dr. Joseph Rizzo will be running alongside him.

Dr. Rizzo is the director of the Neuro-Opthalmologist Service at Harvard Medical School and the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary.

For the past 20 years he and his team of doctors and researchers have been developing a retinal prosthesis.

“I figured if Will is running to help me, I should be running with him,” said Dr. Rizzo.

Will is expected to be one of the first candidates to receive the new retinal device, that Dr. Rizzo has been working on. It could be available in about a year.

So far, Mass Eye and Ear Infirmary has raised more than $300,000 this year for the race.

As for how a blind man can run the Boston Marathon, Will said, “I follow people. It’s 26.2 miles… and there are 30 thousand people going the same way.”

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