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Port Chester Resident Awarded for Fight Against Blindness

PORT CHESTER, N.Y. - Ten-year-old Port Chester resident Ryan Basso has been awarded the 2011 Zylie's Awesome Kid (ZAK) Community Service Award for his efforts in raising funds and awareness about blindness.

Basso suffers from Stargardnt's disease, a type of macular degeneration that has left him legally blind. Since his diagnosis over two years ago, Basso has helped raise over $40,000 to fund research and raise awareness about blindness.

The ZAK Community Service Award is sponsored by Connecticut-based toy company "Zylie the Bear," and is given each year to honor "incredible children doing great things for their communities and the world."

“Zylie the Bear could not be prouder of Ryan,” said Matt McCarty, co-founder of Zylie the Bear. “His community service work would be impressive by any standards, but Ryan is only 10 years old."

The $40,000 Basso has raised for blindness has been through Foundation Fighting Blindness and more specifically the Foundation's Vision Walk. Basso's Vision Walk team, Team Ry Guy's, is the #1 fundraising team in the Westchester/Fairfield Chapter, according to Zylie the Bear.

Basso also understands that raising funds, no matter how large, isn't enough. Ryan is currently working with a vision specialist to teach his class how to read Braille. As if that wasn't enough, Basso hopes to become an eye doctor or scientist when he grows up so he can help people with retina diseases.

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