Singer/Skater with LHON Captures Stevie Wonder’s Attention

 

When Brett Devloo was fifteen years old, he lost his sight. It happened, he feels, suddenly; one minute, Brett was reading and writing notes in his history class and the next, he was unable to see what he was reading. Eventually, Brett was diagnosed with an inherited disorder called Leber hereditary optic neuropathy (LHON). 

Brett’s Story

But according to CBC News Manitoba, Brett has not let his vision loss impair him. In fact, he’s taken his self-attributed title of “The Blind Kid” and ran with it. In 2015, Brett began creating skateboarding videos, which you can find on his Youtube channel. He loved how skateboarding connected him with others on a grander scale and, on a smaller scale, other skateboarders within the blind or visually impaired community.

Now age 26, Brett has transferred some of his attention to music. When visiting a skateboarding camp, he made a connection with a smartwatch company that uses Morse code for messaging. Brett sent along his first single to one of the representatives at the company. By the end of the night, Brett received a text asking if it was okay to connect him with LaMar Mitchell, a producer for influential singer-songwriter Stevie Wonder. 

While Brett has yet to meet and collaborate with Stevie Wonder, he hopes to in the future. And in the meantime, he was able to work with LaMar Mitchell to produce his own album. 

Learn more about Brett and check out his skateboarding and music videos here

About Leber Hereditary Optic Neuropathy (LHON)

Leber hereditary optic neuropathy (LHON) is an inherited disease characterized by vision loss in both eyes. Typically, the vision loss begins in one eye, with the second following within the next few weeks. Males are 4-5x more likely than females to have LHON. Currently, an estimated 1 in every 50,000 people has this condition. Symptoms typically appear during young adulthood, with vision loss occurring before 40 years old. These symptoms can include:

  • Blurred vision
  • Reduced color perception
  • Loss of central vision

In rare cases, those with LHON may also experience peripheral neuropathy, postural tremors, nonspecific myopathy, and other movement disorders.

Jessica Lynn

Jessica Lynn

Jessica Lynn has an educational background in writing and marketing. She firmly believes in the power of writing in amplifying voices, and looks forward to doing so for the rare disease community.

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