Big, blue-eyed baby suffers from rare eye disease - - Columbia, South Carolina |

Big, blue-eyed baby suffers from rare eye disease

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Connor Dune gets a lot of compliments on his big, blue eyes, but they've come with a price.

"It started when he was 5 months old when we noticed his eye was bloodshot," said Connor's mom, Theresa Dune.

Theresa expected a pink eye diagnoses for her Connor's red, watery eyes. What they got was far more rare and damaging: Congenital Glaucoma.

"When I heard the words, my heart just dropped. From there, the next few days are a blur," said Theresa.

Connor's eyes can't regulate the pressure building up behind them. He's already had seven surgeries with more to come. There is no cure.

"This is something that will have to be watched and maintained the rest of his life," said Billy Dune, Connor's dad.

At 34, Billy's eyesight is about as bad as his son's is already. He and Theresa both work, trying to knock down medical bills that continue to pile up.

"The bills are the bills," said Billy. "They're going to be there. I can't give them money I don't have. I'm just taking it day by day and trying to love on my son as much as possible."

Enter Mark Palen, an old neighbor and family friend. He's organized a fundraiser: a big raffle and charity auction for this Saturday night at Polliwog's in Columbia. The fundraiser is from 4 p.m. until closing. 

"I have a 3-year-old of my own and that's big to me," said Palen. "If anything happened to her, I don't know what I'd do. So I understand, you'd do anything for your child."

"It just makes you fly," said Theresa. "There's no words to describe how I feel about Mark and the other bands donating their time. There are no words."

No one knows just how much Connor's vision will deteriorate or how fast. But right now, his parents work to give him the world and pray he'll be able to see it. 

"I waited very long to have my baby boy," said Theresa. "He is my little angel that God has sent to me, and I wouldn't change him one way."

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