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Community remodeling home for teen fighting blindness

CINCINNATI (Angela Ingram) -- An Elder student who's losing his sight is getting a gift from a good Samaritan.
    
Doctors diagnosed Connor Lohmiller with a rare eye disease last summer.  And, when a local contractor heard about it, he swung into action.  Justin Kromski and his crew are hard at work transforming a home in bridgetown.

"We've done some work on the inside.  We're replacing the patios the sidewalks, the driveways, doing landscaping, sliding door, deck," Kromski said.

He's calling the project "The 1st Annual Westside Yard Crash" and volunteering his time to the Lohmiller family.

"Just want to help out.  Help a friend in need and you know, he needed a lot of stuff around here, so we figured we'd step up and help make his yard look good," Kromski said.
   
Justin got the idea for the home makeover last year.  He heard his friend's son, Connor, was losing his vision.  Connor has a rare eye condition called Stargardt's Disease.

Frank Lohmiller, Connor's father, said, "He said, have you had anything done to your house yet and I said, no.  I said Connor's at Elder.  I got an almost three-year-old.  I got another one on the way.  I said, I really can't afford it."
   
Since Connor was diagnosed last year his family has organized fundraisers including a baseball tournament.  They've raised thousands of dollars for the Foundation for Fighting Blindness.

"My main goal is to raise as much money as I can to find a cure for Stargardt's and Eye Disease, not just for Connor, but for any other kid that has it," said Justin.
   
Justin's modifications to the house will make it easier for Connor to get around safely.  There's no sharp angles, no posts, no rocks; everything is very soft.  Sunday the Lohmillers will finally see Justin's hard work.  They haven't seen anything and don't know what he's doing.  For Justin, volunteering is just the way Westsiders stick together.

"It's okay to give back.  You can't take it with you when you go.  I mean the rewards of giving as long as it's not any bad intent to it, malicious; it's rewarding."

The home makeover reveal is Sunday at 5p.m. at the family's home on Childs Avenue.  Volunteers are still looking for a few more items to make the day complete.
    
CLICK HERE for a list of those items and a link to the event Facebook page.

Watch video HERE

Follow Angela Ingram on Twitter @newslaw1 and LIKE her on Facebook
 

 

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