BOSTON (CBS) – Thousands of runners take part in the Boston Marathon year for all kinds of reasons.
One father from Newton is running to help save his young son’s vision.
Quentin Miquel was born with a genetic condition which causes the layers of his retina to split and impairs his vision
As a result, he developed an extremely rare hole in the retina in his left eye. So he became the first child to undergo surgery to repair the hole at Mass. Eye and Ear when he was just four years old.
Dr. Shizuo Mukai, a surgeon at Mass. Eye and Ear, explains, “We had treatments for macular holes that worked in adults but we had to see if it would work in this situation because, unfortunately, no one had ever tried it before.”
When that operation didn’t work, doctors at Mass. Eye and Ear decided to try some experimental new eye drops to try to help save Quentin’s vision
Dr. Mukai explains, ‘There’s really no treatment. We are doing a lot of genetic research to come up with gene therapy to treat this conditions, but right now we don’t have a cure.”
That’s why Quentin’s dad, Bruno, is running the Boston Marathon for the first time this year to raise money for Mass. Eye and Ear.
“As a dad, when something like this happens, you feel helpless and have to leave it to the doctors,” said Miquel. “Luckily, we live in Boston and we have access to Mass. Eye and Ear, which is a world-class institution.”
“I feel good because he can raise a lot of money to find a care for juvenile retinoschisis,” the younger Miquel said.
And the quest to find a cure for Quentin’s condition has become a family affair. Quentin and his older sisters, who are all competitive swimmers, are also doing their part. They’re swimming the equivalent of a marathon every two weeks to support their dad and their brother.
Alexia Miquel explains, “I’m really proud of him. It’s hard because he can’t do a lot of things like his friends, but he’s found a way to still do fun things.”
Quentin’s family says the outpouring of support from their friends and the community has been overwhelming.
His sister, Kristen, explains, “We really want to find a cure because it would make a lot of things easier for all of us. Quentin could have less problems with his vision and wouldn’t have to get his books enlarged and would be to do a lot of activities and run around with his friends.”
Bruno hopes to raise $10,000 for Mass. Eye and Ear and his family and friends will be out in full force in Newton, cheering him on every step of the way.