health

2 Brothers Create Fashion Line To Raise Funds For Research To Cure Blindness

by Jess Catcher
Jess grew up in Oklahoma before moving to New York to become a writer. She has a cat named Agnes.

For the majority of us on the planet, we tend to take all of our senses for granted on a daily basis. Every morning when we wake up, our eyes open, and we see the world around us.

Even if that view is a little blurry, depending on how late you stayed up the night before, or if your glasses are farther from reach than you would like, you still know that everything will clear up eventually.

Of course, individuals suffering from visual impairments don’t have that same luxury. The brothers below, Brad and Bryan Manning, were forced to adapt differently to their surroundings as both of their eyesights became increasingly worse and worse.

Diagnosed at 5 and 6 years old, they explain how helpful it was having each other to lean on as they grew up. They also credit their parents for never framing the condition as a setback, but rather a challenge they could tackle together.

Now, as adults, they’re hoping to bring that same inspirational outlook to others like them.

Courtesy of Brad Manning

Brad and Bryan had to learn a totally different set of skills as they got older.

In school, they used large print books, always sat at the front of the classroom, and were taught Braille at the same time — something they would often use to send secret messages to each other.

The condition affects the central area of vision. Due to the buildup of a toxic by-product in their eye when vitamin A is metabolized, their perspective becomes increasingly obscured over time until they are left with only a peripheral view.

As you can see in the image above, it can make navigating space incredibly difficult.

Courtesy of Brad Manning

But the brothers don’t focus on the negative, each of them instead embracing the unique set of skills the condition has forced them to master.

For example, the times when they would fail to recognize a friend’s face taught them how to finesse their social interactions. They also never shied away from athletics in school, though they do confess to some trial and error efforts.

Most importantly, it brought them closer together as brothers.

Courtesy of Brad Manning

Now that they’ve both graduated from the University of Virginia, Brad with a degree in finance and Bryan’s in statistics, they continue to rely on each other and describe themselves as “ruthlessly dedicated” to helping find a cure for blindness.

That’s what inspired the creation of their own clothing line, Two Blind Brothers. Based on the fact that they tend to purchase their outfits based on how they feel rather than look, they focus on crafting the most comfortable casual wear for both men and women.

The profits from each purchase is 100 percent donated to research organizations, neither brother taking a single penny of a salary for themselves.

Courtesy of Brad Manning

Before entering the fashion world, the Mannings worked closely with organizations like the Foundation Fighting Blindness. This month, they’ve partnered with FFB to promote their #HowEyeSeeIt campaign in an effort to raise awareness for individuals with retinal eye diseases.

Be sure to check out their website to contribute to their amazing cause. You can even use the discount code “LittleThings” to receive 20 percent off your purchase now through September 16, 2016!

Before you start shopping, take a look at the video below to hear more from Brad and Bryan.

And don’t forget to SHARE their remarkable mission with your friends!

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