LAKE COUNTY, Fla. – A Lake County boy is one step closer to repairing his vision after a U.S. Food and Drug Administration panel recommended the approval of a new medical treatment.
At age 3, Creed was diagnosed with Leber congenital amaurosis. The rare genetic mutation essentially prevents the body from producing the protein needed for the brain to make sense of what the eye is seeing.
Last month, an experimental genetic therapy called Luxturna completed its first hurdle when it was approved by the panel.
The FDA still has several months to make changes before it allows children such as Creed to take part in the treatment.
"They are estimating it is $500,000 per eye," said Sarah Pettit, Creed's mother. "That's before our insurance. So it's not only money for that. We will be living in Iowa for at least a month."
Looking to raise money that is needed after insurance, Pettit has started a fundraising page where people can donate, preparing for the family's journey to Iowa for surgery.
"I definitely feel that by this summer, we are going to be up there," Pettit said. "I really do. I've been told, 'Start saving.'"
Pettit said she hopes this holiday season is the last one in which Creed is unable to see the Christmas lights at night. Instead, she hopes this Fourth of July will be the first time her son is able to view the fireworks.
"You think of ... everything that is about to change," Pettit said.
The family hopes to raise $100,000.