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A Friend In Need

I Can See Clearly Now

Makeup Mondays: About Face Early detection saves lives
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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.

Avengers Logo is an image of an eyeball with wings on either side and a banner under the eye that reads Sight-Saving Avengers.
Logo Created by Steve Plummer for 2012 Pittsburgh VisionWalk Thanks Steve!!

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.

Photo of the 2012 Sight-Saving Avengers Team members for Pittsburgh VisionWalk
2012 Sight-Saving Avengers Team for Pittsburgh VisionWalk

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.

Thank you,

Susan Rodgers

If you would like to make a donation on behalf of Susan you can visit her VisionWalk page at 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.

8 thoughts on “A Friend In Need

  1. Amazing to know more of your story, Steph. May I ask how you blog?


    1. Sure Diana, I really like having the conversatin with people b/c it can only lead to better understanding. I am able to blog and do many things on my computer because I have ZoomText (the reading and magnification software that Susan spoke of). The thing that’s frustrating is it takes so much longer to do the things that I used to take for granted but I’m very fortunate in that my sight loss happened in mid-life so working on the computer was no biggie. Once I found out that technology agreed with me I couldn’t get enough of it and God willing I will continue on for as long as I possibly can.

      Though I’ve been legally blind for 5 years now when I meet people for the first time they have a hard time wrapping their head around the fact that it appears as if I can see. The thing is when you’ve had vision for most of your life and depending on your particular sight loss issue, it can appear as if I’m making eye contact when in reality I’m only looking in the general direction. Not being able to distinguish my sons since I can no longer make out their faces unless they are close to me was difficult but I’ve learned alot about myself through this process. Thank you for asking. ~Steph

      1. I am
        blown away.
        And the part about your
        sons’ faces

        Thanks so much for sharing
        and enlightening me (pun intended). =)

        Love and respect,

        And don’t worry about visiting! (If you meant me when you said favorite bloggers, that is, ha ha ha. I haven’t posted since Twilight (scrubs the color of flat twilight).

      2. Yes, Diana, I meant you and I will be visiting. Lol 🙂

      3. STOP! Don’t visit! I don’t have updates since the last post, just some old ones I put up on the first few pages. Don’t bother!!

      4. Awe come on. You have many great articles that I haven’t even begun to touch the surface. I can catch up on some much nejavascript:void(0)eded reading.

  2. Thanks, Steph, Susan

    1. You are most welcome Susan!! My pleasure.

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