Student losing sight finds way to keep hope
By Peter Brooks - Staff Reporter
Jessica Crane, a student at Highline, is losing her eyesight over time and needs surgery, but it isn't fully covered by her insurance.
Friends of hers are planning to have a bake sale and online fundraising campaign using GoFundMe.
"I woke up one day to one of my eyes being extremely swollen, red, and hard," Crane said.
Her condition is called retinal vasculitis. It involves swelling and inflammation of blood vessels in the retina of the eyes.
"It cuts off blood flow and eventually kills the eye," Crane said.
Crane was forced to stay home and ended up missing the entire quarter. She's been improving slightly by taking the medication Prednisone, a steroid to help with inflammation, but it's only a temporary solution.
There's no exact diagnosis for the cause of her condition yet, but it's typically chronic and requires long-term treatment.
The surgery required is called a vitrectomy, the surgical operation of removing the vitreous humor from the eyeball.
The estimated cost for the surgery isn't yet known so the fundraiser isn't officially set up yet, but it should be known soon.
"I'm very thankful for everyone helping me," Crane said. "I'm worried about the surgery but I'm staying hopeful."
Crane has been attending Highline since 2013, beginning with the High School Completion program. She's working toward a degree in psychology and hopes to start school at the University of Washington of Seattle or Tacoma in fall.
Her friends organizing the event include Yasutaka Odo, Matt Thomson, and Kaz Seko.
They are current and former members of the psychology club at Highline and are helping Crane after becoming friends through the club.
"We really want to help our friend any way we can," said Kaz Seko. "Any amount of money earned from donations will be helpful."
Sue Frantz, a psychology professor at Highline, will be the faculty sponsor for the bake sale taking place within the next two weeks.