I Can See Clearly Now
The first time I put on eyeglasses was a little over 42 years ago. The feeling of seeing clearly for the first time stole my breath away. The transition was like leaving a dark movie theatre and stepping outdoors on a bright sunny day. It took a little more time for my eyes to adjust because suddenly everything was so clear and focused. It was as if all my senses were reborn; sound was keener, flavors more savory, smells more aromatic, touch more sensitive and sight — well, sight was indescribable. Depth perception was strange and crossing streets and walking down stairs was a little precarious as I acclimated to what is considered 20/20 vision.
For as long as I live I will never forget how I felt when I put on my first pair of eyeglasses. The memory of that day over 42 years ago is especially sweet since the loss of my eyesight.
What kept me going five years ago while dealing with the emotional aspects of vision loss, was getting involved in several organizations that benefit the blind and vision impaired. Since hope was all I thought I had at the time I took hold of it with both hands.
Hope for me came in the form of Foundation Fighting Blindness (FFB). FFB funds the research to find preventions, treatments, and cures for inherited retinal degenerative diseases that lead to blindness. Over the course of three years me, and my team of “Sight-Saving Avengers” took on the fight for sight and we raised more than $10,000 during that span of time.
Two years ago, I had to make the difficult decision to let go of a few of my volunteer activities to keep my sanity. However I still support groups that raise awareness, advocate on behalf of or provide the necessary funding so that others may see.
From One Friend to Another
My friend Susan Rodgers (who I profiled along with her sister back in January) has a story to tell in her own words and I wanted to share it with you. To view the post of Susan and Sherri you can click HERE.
In 1969, my twin sister and I were diagnosed with Usher’s Syndrome (Retinitis Pigmentosa coupled with hearing loss). Not much was known at that time; however since that time a lot of progress has been made to help to understand it and to find a cure for it. In 2013, a possible cure called the “Argus 2” began with clinical trials. The Argus 2 is a mini camera mounted on glasses that sends signals to the retina, allowing people to see. More studies are being conducted to improve vision.
Since the Mid 70’s through 10/2008, I worked in the banking industry. In 1994, the bank purchased a CCTV (Closed Circuit TV), this is a screen magnifier; a couple of years later they purchased ZoomText software for the computer (this is a print magnifier for the computer). This equipment helped me to perform my job duties independently. I lost my job through downsizing and due to lack of work. In 1993, I received my white cane with Orientation/Mobility; this helps me to travel independently.
Finally in August 2011, I started here at Sunrise Senior Living Center as a dishwasher. I love what I do and find it challenging when the time comes to put everything away in their proper places.
I currently use a computer with a speech software, a scanner to read my mail. All this helps me to maintain my independence.
I would like to ask your support in my 5K walk for Foundation Fighting Blindness VisionWalk on 10/19/14. Any amount would be greatly appreciated. All the money raised goes to researching cures for blindness.
If you would like to make a donation on behalf of Susan you can visit her VisionWalk page at www.fightblindness.org. I would also like to thank you in advance for your consideration. ~Steph
“Although the world is full of suffering, it is full also of the overcoming of it.” ~Helen Keller
*Image was obtained from Breast Cancer Info Blog. No copyright infringement is intended. If you believe that the use of this content is violating your copyrights, please contact me directly to be credited or have the item removed.