Derrek Lee creates Project 3000

10/01/2006 at 09:43 PM ET

As previously reported, Chicago Cubs first baseman Derrek Lee has taken a leave of absence in order to be with his family as his daughter, Jada, who underwent tests for a blindness in one eye. It has been determined that the three-year-old suffers from Leber’s Congenital Amaurosis, a rare genetic eye disorder which causes infants or toddlers to lose their vision.

"Jada is a little bit different in the respect that she still sees very well out of one eye. So it’s kind of throwing them off a little bit,” said Derrek.

The MLB player  has teamed with Boston Celtics owner Wyc Grousbeck, whose son also suffers from the same disease, to create Project 3000, a foundation set up to help battle LCA. The foundation has five goals that it is trying to achieve: provide hope, provide accurate information, find the remaining genes that cause the disease, find cures and to make genetic testing the standard of care for LCA.

"You know it’s something that is devastating initially when you are told your daughter, there is something wrong with your child. It’s hard to explain unless you have children. You will do anything to protect your children," he said. "And when you are told there is something wrong and there is nothing you can do about it, it’s a tough pill to swallow. As parents we just want to do our part and we feel our part is to raise awareness."

Source: Yahoo Sports

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andrea on

While, I don’t have LCA…I was born with a congenital catract. Which means I have been blind since birth and had a lazy/wandering eye because of the condition (which was later fixed by surgery). As a child and adult I was able to do everything any other child could do. I played sports, drive a car, etc. The positive side of this is, that the child will not know what it is like to see out of two eyes, so they themselves (as they get older) will not see it as a loss! I have learned to be happy to be able to see out of one eye and enjoy the beautiful things I can see!

Nikki on

I pray for his daughter, always. I hope she gets better. I’m a fan of the Chicago Cubs, and besides I’m from Indiana lol. Um, I’m the same girl that likes wrestling and had Jackie Gayda and Charlie Hass baby news here. But anyways, I hope things will get better for his daughter and the family as well.