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Whitby family raising funds to treat baby’s eye condition

Heather Graham holds her six-month-old son Mackenzie on March 1, 2013. CITYNEWS.

A Whitby family is fighting to raise money to treat their six-month-old son’s eye condition, arguing that the best possible option is surgery outside Ontario.

Mackenzie Graham suffers from bilateral Persistent Fetal Vasculature Syndrome (PFVS), which is extremely rare.  He’s one of only three other people in Ontario with the condition.

“It’s essentially like looking through a piece of paper,” Mackenzie’s father Matt Graham told CityNews.

“You can see the light, but you can see no detail whatsoever.”

Treatment for Mackenzie is available in Ontario and if the family were to have the procedure performed in the province, OHIP would cover it.

However, the Graham’s say the best option is Michigan, where doctors see cases like Mackenzie’s more frequently.

“They have pretty much one of these cases a month…they are the experts,” Mackenzie’s father said.

Ontario health minister Deb Matthews said that the province does pay for out-of-country surgery, but only under strict conditions.

“They need to show that there’s nobody here who can perform that procedure and that the person needs the procedure,” Matthews told CityNews.

Because the surgery is available in Toronto, that’s not an option.

The family is now fundraising to pay for Mackenzie’s surgery.

Follower their efforts on Twitter using the hashtag  #teammackie, on Facebook or at the website mackies-journey.com.