Big Times In The Suncatch

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Over Canada Day a Morden man began a bike ride across Manitoba.

Evan Froese began the trip starting West of Virden towards West Hawk Lake to raise funds for visual aids called ESight glasses.

Froese has Congenital Lateral Nystagmus, the condition can cause a varying degree of impairment, from slight vision issues to full blindness. Froese explains how the condition affects him.

"My eyes are constantly moving left to right. Even when I'm sleeping, unconscious, eyes closed, eyes open, doesn't matter my eyes are in constant motion. Essentially what that leads to, in a nutshell, is focusing becomes very difficult."

Froese notes he has 20/200 vision; he can see as much detail in something 20 feet away as someone with 20/20 vision sees 200 feet away.

ESight glasses use two LCD screens that sit inches above the eyes with a number of image-enhancing features. Froese explains that the ESight would allow images to be brought into a greater degree of focus.

Froese and his wife Christine decided to create a gofundme page in order to raise funds for the $15,000 ESight.

Evan and Christine Froese

To promote the cause they also to decided to bike across Manitoba.

"I was told I would never drive. I spent the first 6 years of my working career absolutely everywhere, to and from work. So I was racking up thousands of kilometres a year on my bike," says Froese. "That's where my interest or passion in cycling started."

Froese and his wife began Canada Day weekend, starting West of Virden stopping in Brandon, Portage, Winnipeg, and Steinbach along the way. The entire trip took 6 days to complete.

Froese says the experience was an enjoyable and his vision was only a small hindrance.

To date, they've raised $6,000 towards the ESight glasses, and Froese says that this would not have been possible without their friends, family, and the support of the community.

Photos courtesy of Evan Froese

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