Sun Prairie teen learns to run after going blind

High school athlete gets back on track

After going blind, a Sun Prairie teen athlete has found her way back to the track.

Mia Zutter’s sight started to deteriorate last year after she was diagnosed with the genetic disorder Stargardt’s disease. It has left the soon-to-be eighth-grader legally blind.

Now, she is rediscovering her one of her passions, running, with the help of her older sister.

“If I run faster, she’ll keep up with me. If she wants to slow down, I say, ‘That’s a good idea,’ because I don’t want to make her tired. We definitely help each other out,” said Zutter. 

Mia Zutter’s sister, Natalie, runs next to her, guiding her around the track. Mia Zutter clocked the fastest mile time in her class at Prairie View Middle School. She also participates in the long jump and relays.

Mia is also getting back in touch with her first passion of ice skating.

“When I’m skating out here alone, I had my vision before. I know how long (the rink) is,” said Mia.

“I can’t imagine what it’s like for her, what’s she’s seeing, what she’s feeling out there in space. She’s determined. She always has been. If she wants to do something, she’s going to do it,” said Jennifer Zutter, Mia’s mother.

Mia said she is disappointed that she will not be able to get her driver’s license, but she isn’t letting one hurdle get her down.

“I’ve got it a lot better than other people. I try to stay positive. I’m not going to let it get in the way of doing something,” said Mia.