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Women On The Move: Virginia Maze

It’s Not a Curse

Recent picture of Virginia Maze sitting in a car smiling for the camera wearing Aviator sunglasses.
Recent picture of Virginia Maze

Losing one’s sight is no walk in the park and I think it’s safe to say that no one would argue against that. In fact, many sighted people probably would consider it a curse. I know the younger me certainly thought so.

When I was 13, I was diagnosed with Usher Syndrome. This diagnosis explained my congenital moderate to severe hearing loss, something that was no big deal to me. In fact, I have embraced my deafness as a beautiful gift. A blessing. I enjoy being a part of two unique worlds: the deaf and hearing. I also love being able to turn off my hearing aids to shut out annoying sounds, like the roar of a vacuum, or when I just need some peace and quiet. But the diagnosis also revealed something else. Something that was looming on the horizon: I was slowly going blind.

Blind? How? Why? I could not see any good coming from my impending gradual sight loss. No, this was a curse.

Virginia is straddling the equator in Uganda. She is standing with arms outstretched in an upright circle that has "Equator" in bold lettering at the top of the circle.
Virginia straddling the equator in Uganda.

My vision has now progressed to the point where I am deemed legally blind due to no peripheral vision. And though it has been a difficult adjusting to my ever-changing sight, I no longer view it as a curse. I certainly still experience feelings of disheartenment, anxiety, and a desire for restoration, but through it all, I have been blessed with opportunities and friends that I would have missed out on if I did not have Usher Syndrome. Opportunities like advocating on Capitol Hill on behalf of deafblind individuals nationwide, standing in the Oval Office to meet one of the presidents of the United States, straddling the equator while in attendance at the World Federation of the Deafblind conference in Uganda, and of course the many friends I’ve met all along the way. I can confidently say that I have lived a fulfilled and satisfying life and I plan to continue to live a joy-filled life even when and if my vision completely fades away.

Photo of Virginia at a strawberry picking farm. She is standing in a field of strawberries holding a bucket of the fruit.
Virginia at a strawberry picking farm.

Blindness does not have to be a curse. No struggle or trial has to be viewed as a curse. In fact, it will only a curse if you make it one. The trials we face are real, but it’s important to take a step back and find the blessings among them. They are there, even if they are small.

 

4 thoughts on “Women On The Move: Virginia Maze

  1. You broaden our vision by introducing us to so many inspiring persons. Best to Virginia,

    1. Thank you Albert! This is one of my favorite parts of blogging because my life has been so enriched by these remarkable people. It’s such a joy to share their words with the world.

  2. Virginia is a lovely woman!

    1. Awe thanks Camie, I will let her know.

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