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The amazing Michael Smedley is one talented kid. His band, in which he plays the piano and provides backup vocals, can rock with the best of them. And this young musician does it all without the aid of sight. Michael has been blind since birth, causing him to be remarkably independent. He’s taught himself a lot – how to navigate the halls of his school, how to read and write with a ‘brailer,’ and how to play the piano. Michael is also very social, his mom says, and has a relationship with nearly every person in his school.

Michael’s younger brother Mitchell is also blind. Their mother Kristin Smedley didn’t expect this for her sons, either of them, and was eager to find a way to help them. She was further motivated once she heard that the gene for her sons’ type of blindness was discovered. Kristin founded the Curing Retinal Blindness Foundation to raise research funds for kids like her sons.

While he knows there’s no guarantee he’ll be able to see, Michael is curious to find out what he looks like and to be able to read sheet music. But regardless, Michael won’t be stifled.

“I could be totally blind.  I could be full sighted. It doesn’t matter,” Michael says. “[What’s important] is the stuff that I’m passionate about.”

By Ashley Johnson @AshleyNJohnson3