Change Your Mindset, Change Your Life
Hi my name is Mara Lauren. I was diagnosed with a rare eye condition called Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP) in 2010. Recently, I have been diagnosed with Ushers Syndrome, which not only includes vision loss, but also hearing loss.
When I was first diagnosed with RP it was a big life-changing experience, because I was told I was going blind and there was nothing I could do to prevent this. The initial diagnosis by a Doctor who had little education on the subject was very callous and his uncaring approach made me feel hopeless and lost, which caused me to go into depression for a 2 year period. That depression stage of my life was tough, as if I didn’t want to live anymore.
No disability should hold us back from anything our hearts desire. ~Mara
The feeling of being alone, not knowing what will happen and what the future would be like really hit me hard. It made me disconnect with the world and of course, the feeling of not wanting to live anymore was always on my mind.
Eventually, I was connected with the right people. The right specialists who helped to give me hope and let me know this eye condition shouldn’t stop me from living the life I want and it wasn’t the end.
In 2014, I started to really look at my life and I knew I had to change my mindset. That this depression was the jolt I actually needed to start focusing on what really matters and to completely revamp my life by staying positive. It was at this point with the help of my caring husband by my side, I have done just that.
I started getting involved with The Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB) as a support group leader, I am part of The Foundation Fighting Blindness (American and Canadian organizations), also I have recently joined Trailblazers Tandem Cycling Club (a registered charity, who provides recreational cycling to people who have limited or no vision).
In the summer of 2016 I conquered Cycling For Sight, a fundraising event with The Foundation Fighting Blindness to find a cure for degenerative blindness. This was one of my biggest accomplishments thus far because it has been one of my goals since being diagnosed, it wasn’t easy but I was able to complete the 91km event.
Now that 2017 is here, I have signed up to do the full race of 180km Cycle for Sight that will be held in June 2017 and signed up for different activities that I want to try. So you have to wait for it and see what I’m up to!
I will also try to blog more this new year and you can find me on atemara.com or simply my instagram, atemara. Outside of social media, I pretty much keep myself busy with all the organizations I’m involved in and I try to live a fit active lifestyle by working out and eating healthy, but of course every now and then I must indulge.
Another big aspect of my life is traveling, spending time with loved ones and just enjoying life to its fullest. I always say, no disability should hold us back from anything our hearts desire. We can still do it all.