Kimball boy gets new life with ‘bioptics’Lions clubs’ donations make gift possible.
By: News release, South Dakota Lions Foundation
KIMBALL — Jacob Carsten, 14, of Kimball, sees a new life for himself after several South Dakota Lions clubs helped pay for bioptic glasses.
Bioptics are a lens system with a miniature telescope mounted in the upper part of an eyeglass lens.
The things most people take for granted in their daily vision don’t go unnoticed by Jacob.
“I am able to go to Burger King and actually read the menu,” he said. “I can watch sports and actually keep up with the game and not rely on friends describing the action to me.”
And most importantly to any 14-year-old in South Dakota, Carsten can drive. He has his learner’s permit and will receive his full license in July. That, more than anything, has changed his outlook on his future.
“I’m a farm kid, so driving is a pretty big deal for me,” he said. “Not to mention running the tractor for feeding cows, cutting hay, baling and all the other things needed on the farm. I always felt that I wouldn’t be as helpful to my dad as I wanted to be, and that I couldn’t help like my three older brothers do. All these fears were put to rest when I got the bioptics.”
His sight is so good that he even went deer hunting last fall.
“I tried hunting for two years, but I never got my deer because I never could see them in time. Last season, I finally dropped my first deer.”
Dr. Paul Greenfield of The Eye Doctors, in Sioux Falls, said Carsten has an inherited ocular condition that limits his ability to see objects clearly with conventional eyeglasses. Bioptics provide stronger magnification than regular eyewear. The bioptics, in combination with proper training through the Drive Smart program in Aberdeen, allow Jacob to drive safely and confidently.
“The bioptics have given me hope, the ability to be helpful, to drive, to feel like I can do anything,” Carsten said. “It gave me a sense of independence.”
The bioptics and specialized training were made possible for Jacob through the Lions of South Dakota Foundation and six Lions Clubs: Gregory Lions Club, Mitchell Palace City Lions Club, Mitchell Lions Club, Miller Lions Club, Chamberlain Lions Club and Wagner Lions Club.