Christian and Michael Bublé. Image via Elizabeth Guardino

PORT JEFFERSON, N.Y.—Christian Guardino is many things: a New Yorker, a musician, an American Idol finalist and a person born with Leber Congenital Amaurosis. At age 13, Guardino underwent experimental gene therapy to protect his eyesight. He said, “This disease causes inevitable blindness because there is a gene that is missing in the eye, because that gene is missing, it is not producing proteins that your cells need to live, and they slowly die off to cause complete and inevitable blindness.” Through gene therapy, doctors were able to copy the missing gene and inject it into Guardino’s eye. 

Because of his LCA, though, Guardino wears glasses all the time—including on stage while performing on American Idol.  And after a friend of Guardino’s noticed his glasses on TV seemed scratched and ill-fitting, she reached out to friends at Optyx in Port Jefferson, New York, who agreed to get Guardino the great frames he deserves. 

Optyx fitted Guardino perfectly, and now gifts him eyewear bi-weekly and ships it to Hollywood to make sure all his frames match his on-stage outfits. Guardino said, “I'm so grateful to the team at Optyx. I have been able to see such incredible things since the gene therapy, like the moon, the stars, the sunsets, fireworks, snow falling—just so many things that I have had the opportunity to witness. And I can’t take any of those things for granted.”

Brian Jekel, manager at Optyx Port Jefferson said, “Due to Christian’s condition, we made sure his new frames were properly fitted with the latest in digitally surfaced lenses and anti-glare coatings to make sure his sensitive eyes were protected from the bright lights on stage. It was also super exciting for the Optyx staff to cheer him on and see him succeed on Idol, week after week.” 

Owner Harvey Ross continued, “A great pair of frames can change your character and become a confidence builder. Our team of doctors and opticians were thrilled work on such a special project with such an incredible local talent like Christian.”

Last month, Guardino debuted his new single, Higher, while wearing Tom Ford 5760 Bold Black Frame in a modified pilot shape, with a matching sunglass clip from Optyx New York. Head over to YouTube to watch Guardino perform Smile with Michael Bublé—while sporting Gucci 0184 frames from Optyx, too.