Local boy with rare eye disease finds solace in others

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Jaxon Gibbs was diagnosed with Coats Disease at the age of 2. Coats Disease occurs when red blood vessels leak serum into the back of the eye. If not detected in time, it can lead to retinal detachment, which can cause blindness in the eye.  The main symptom is a glow appearing in the eye in photographs.


At age 5, Jaxon went through a sad stage coming to terms with his Coats Disease.  He sees with only one eye, and his pediatrician recommended meeting other kids with it and similar conditions.  Coats Disease is very rare; Fewer than 200,000 Americans have it.

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Thanks to his mom Elke’s efforts on social media to connect with other patients, Jaxon was fortunate enough to meet two other kids in our community with Coats Disease last August. Jaxon was almost star-struck when he met a 15-year-old who went through was he was dealing with too.

“Instantly his spirits were lifted, and we were so blessed to have that,” says Elke about the special meeting.  “And we just want to spread that opportunity for other kids on the East Coast.”

It is why Elke helped to organize the first-ever Coats Disease Meetup on Saturday, July 9.  It is taking place at Tuckahoe Sports, 2450 Little League Drive in Henrico.  It begins at 2 p.m. Children and adults living with Coats Disease and members of the public interested in learning more about the condition are invited to this event.


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