Young Jack named Achiever of Year

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STRICHEN lad Jack Paterson has been awarded MACS Achiever of the year 2011 after being nominated by his mum and dad.

Jack (5), has bilateral macular and disc coloboma which means he has no macular or fovea in either eye. Both of his eyes have holes where these should be, meaning he is partially-sighted and struggles to read small print or see long distance.

Jack and his family are strong supporters of MACS, The Micro and Anophthalmic Children’s Society, which is dedicated to bringing support and families together to help children born with no eyes and partially developed eyes.

MACS hosted their annual AGM and family weekend at Park Hall Hotel and Camelot during the April/May bank holiday weekend, and mum Michelle, an event manager and dad John a teacher at Meldrum Academy were both over the moon when they found out he had won the award.

“Parents and carers are asked to nominate the children for this award so I entered Jack for the 0-6 year Achiever of the Year award,” she said. “Jack is in primary 1 and his sight hasn’t held him back in anyway, although he has larger print and a CCTV in the classroom it hasn’t affected him and that’s why me and my husband put him forward.

“He’s done really well and his reading and writing has been much better than our initial expectations for him. He is also a part of the Ellon Rugby Club and he loves it. We just want him to be treated the same as other children his age.

“When we found out he won the award I had tears in my eyes, but I get emotional at the smallest of things. If he points out something in the distance I well up. The rest of us take these things for granted, and it means a lot when Jack notices things when we’re out and about.”

Jacks older sister Amelia (8) enjoys helping her brother when he needs it. She said: “I sometimes help Jack with his reading, and I read him stories if they have small print, I like helping him with his homework too.”

If anyone would like more information on Microphthalmia, Anophthalmia, Coloboma or the charity they can contact Michelle directly by email, or visit