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13 Days and Knights of Giving: A beloved library volunteer losing his vision

Ivan Medina has a rare retinal disease.
13 Days and Knights of Giving - Ivan Medina
13 Days and Knights of Giving - Ivan Medina surprise
13 Days and Knights of Giving - Ivan Medina library surprise
Posted at 12:01 AM, Dec 10, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-11 14:37:04-05

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — In the two years Ivan Medina spent as a library volunteer, he made a big impact.

“You were always on time, you were very reliable and responsible," said Jorge Carmona, a library manager who nominated Medina for the 13 Days and Knights of Giving.

Today, the 25-year-old is no longer able to volunteer, as he had since 2015. Diagnosed with a rare retinal disease, Ivan has difficulty seeing. Last year, Medina felt that with his vision deteriorating, he could no longer perform the tasks of a volunteer.

It wasn’t just a loss for Ivan. His absence was felt in the small, quiet community of the library.

“There wasn’t anything that we couldn’t ask of him," said Sara, a library employee who worked regularly with Medina.

Medina, who lives a few blocks from the library, didn’t return for a few months after resigning his volunteer post. But recently, he’s come back -- not to work, but just to be.

“I think that that helps anybody who is in a situation where they don’t really have the opportunity to go out and do things on their own. It’s hard for him to go out and find regular employment because of his eyesight," said Sara. "It’s a way to get out, it’s a way to be social and I think that’s a huge help for him.”

Ivan received a financial gift from the Vegas Golden Knights Foundation as well as tickets to a special event for our 13 Days and Knights of Giving recipients.

There’s no cure for the disease Ivan has -- nothing that will bring his eyesight back. But still, Ivan is full of hope. And beginning to learn Braille.

13 Days and Knights of Giving is sponsored by the Vegas Golden Knights Foundation, Subaru of Las Vegas and America First Credit Union.