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Blindness doesn’t stop this teen from spiritually seeing

Preston Page was diagnosed at age 9 with cone-rod dystrophy, but the condition has only sharpened his spiritual sight

If Preston Page had a magic genie, he wouldn’t wish away his blindness.

A few years ago, he might have said otherwise. But now, “I don’t think I would... because of how much I have grown from being blind.”

Preston, a high school senior in Centerville, Utah, was diagnosed at age 9 with cone-rod dystrophy, a disorder that affects the light-sensitive cells in a person’s eyes. The condition becomes worse over time, and his central vision is currently about 95% gone.

But that hasn’t stopped him from doing everything a typical teenager does and then some. Preston is a senior class officer at Viewmont High School and a competitive mountain bike racer.

He’s also an active member of his ward, a loving son and a supportive sibling to his two older brothers, younger brother and younger sister.

Laura Page, Preston’s mother, said her son is positive, fun and a hard worker.

“He actually lifts us more than we lift him,” she said. “He keeps everybody on the up-and-up... especially when you’re struggling, because he helps you see the positive points and how Christ can help [you] through [your] struggles.”

Preston Page smiles while wearing his senior class officer jacket.
Preston Page smiles while wearing his senior class officer jacket on the first day of his senior year of high school in 2023. Preston was diagnosed at age 9 with cone-rod dystrophy, but the condition has only sharpened his spiritual sight. | Provided by Laura Page

Avoiding spiritual blindness

Preston said physical blindness helps him avoid spiritual blindness. Sometimes he’s asked how he handles such a big trial. He doesn’t pretend it’s not hard but rather explains “it’s caused me to turn to God in every aspect, because He’s the only one that can actually help me through it.”

Sometimes he’s frustrated by people telling him what he can and can’t do because of his blindness. His family, though, “never lets me use it as an excuse to get out of things,” he said.

Laura Page said that ever since receiving his diagnosis, Preston has advocated for himself at school and in other settings. Early on, he learned what he cares about and what he wants from life, she said.

His father, Ron Page, added that Preston is strong-willed, as evidenced by his determination to pursue mountain biking.

“He motivates all of us to do better,” Ron Page said. 

Preston Page rides a mountain bike.
Preston Page rides a mountain bike in Mantua, Utah, in 2023. Preston was diagnosed at age 9 with cone-rod dystrophy, but the condition has only sharpened his spiritual sight. | Provided by Laura Page

That strong will is serving Preston well as he prepares for full-time missionary service following his high school graduation. And after his mission, he plans to study construction management and business management.

In the meantime, he’s focused on honing his spiritual sight.

“I have grown a resilience to Satan... by having to go through [this] trial,” he said, adding, “It’s made me more Christ-like, because I can always look for the [things] that I need to get better.”

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