Blind Football Player Scores On The Field - New York News

Blind Football Player Scores On The Field

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The Richboro Raiders are playing an ordinary scrimmage, but at center of the game is a very extraordinary young man.

"I'm Michael Smedley and I'm staring center on the Richboro Raiders."

When the 13-year-old, 8th grader isn't protecting the quarterback or playing keyboard with his band Casual Friday...he's busy raising money to find a cure for retinal diseases.

In fact...he and his younger brother Mitch are busy gearing up for this Sunday's 3rd annual youth event they created.

It's a fundraiser called "Bike the Basin."

"All the money benefits the Care and Retinal Blindness Foundation. We're working with researchers to find the cure for vision."

A cure could go a long way towards helping Michael's dreams of starring in the NFL.

Especially when you consider both he and his 10-year-old brother Mitch are blind.

"It's a lot of blotches. I don't have a lot of my central right vision," explained Michael.

At the young age of three months old Michael was diagnosed with a rare genetic disease called "Leber's Congenital Amaurosis."

His coach will tell you that hasn't stopped him from excelling on the field despite his sight. Teammates help him get to the line and the refs are aware of his limited sight.

"We have calls on the line where if he needs to go right a guy on the right will tap his shoulder," explained his coach.

Michael realizes as his vision continues to deteriorate his days on the gridiron are numbered for now. But there's hope. So far his family's foundation is on track to raise more than a 100-thousand dollars this year to help drive research. His mother says through gene mapping they believe a cure is in the future. And one day Michael will be able to see his name lit up in NFL lights.

Bike the Basin is scheduled for Sunday 9:30 AM - 12:00 PM.

If you'd like more information on Michael and how you can help his cause click on the following link: http://www.bikethebasin.org

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