Posted on 16 Comments

Reflecting Back Can Help Forge The Path Ahead

Golden hour glass. sitting atop sand with a with background. The sand is filtering through.

Back Down Memory Lane

Reflecting back really helps to put life in perspective. Like many people in my age group, my memory is fading and I struggle daily. Because Alzheimer’s runs in my family, it’s important to me to get as much done as possible. Looking back helps me to see how far I’ve come and confirms the path I’ve chosen.

The following lightly edited article was originally published to VisionAware a few years back when I became a Peer Advisor. If memory serves it was probably around the time I began Bold Blind Beauty. While many things have changed since this article was published, overall I’m pleased with the progress to date.

Stephanae (Steph) McCoy

A Look Back Selfie description is in the body of the post

Eight years ago, going blind was not on Stephanae (Steph) McCoy’s bucket list. Since life threw her this curveball, however, how was she to continue her plan to change the world? Life produced the formula: Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) + Life-Altering Event = World Changed!

Steph, always a little quirky, began with picky eating and excessive hand washing. Her behaviors progressed to extreme cleaning and a driven purposefulness that would make the TV character, Monk, weep. After losing most of her eyesight, Steph credits OCD for making the situation bearable thanks to many regimented routines. After developing macular holes, cataractsglaucoma, and becoming legally blind, Steph is still striving to change the world by:

  • Serving on the Board of Directors of Blind & Vision Rehabilitation Services of Pittsburgh
  • Serving as a Low Vision Committee Member and Chair of the Publicity Committee of the Pennsylvania Council of the Blind
  • Member of the Committee for Accessible Transportation (paratransit service)
  • Fundraising Committee Member of the Golden Triangle Council of the Blind (GTCB)
  • Led a team in raising over $10,000 in donations to finance research for Foundation Fighting Blindness
  • Campaigning for an international low vision awareness effort
  • Publicly speaking at various organizations on a range of vision loss issues

Because Steph is a single-minded, determined, advocate, and conqueror, it made sense that she would find a way to face losing her vision head-on by promoting low vision awareness and creating an open dialog to dispel societal myths on blindness and visual impairment. Helen Keller once said, “The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision.” Steph’s vision is to educate and alter the mindset of how people view others with disabilities, and to that end, she is changing the world, one conversation at a time.

A Look Back Image Description: 

A selfie of me wearing a long-sleeve white tee with a gray vest and a Low Vision pin. I’m also sporting one of my favorite black asymmetrical wigs, the hair slightly covers my left eye. My makeup in this photo is mainly eyeliner and lip balm. A small section of my red couch is behind me as is a standing floor lamp.

For additional information:

 Visit Steph’s LinkedIn profile.

Read blog posts by Steph McCoy on the Visually Impaired: Now What? blog.

16 thoughts on “Reflecting Back Can Help Forge The Path Ahead

    1. Yes, although I haven’t been formatlly diagnosed with OCD. One of my therapists said I have OCD traits. However my friends and family would disagree. But I think because my depression and anxiety have taken center stage for so long OCD is sort of the least of my concerns. It’s funny though because the different meds I’ve been on over the years all seem to help with anxiety, depression and OCD.

  1. You were and are an inspiring woman, dear Stephanae!
    XxX

    1. Thank you Patty <3

  2. What a wonderful description of who you were/are. You help so many people by doing all you do! You are an inspiration to all of us!

    1. Thank you!! <3

  3. You are amazing, Steph. And I love the photo! 🙂

    1. Awe thank you<3

  4. You’ve accomplished amazing things and should feel very proud. You’ve given me such helpful info on products and items to help my Mom that I didn’t realize existed…and your Bold Blind Beauty site and such a resource!! Thank you Steph for your dedication, commitment and always positive attitude!! xo

    1. Thank you Deb!! <3

      1. You’re most welcome!! 💕

  5. Gosh, we are so alike, Steph, in many ways. I still NEED to volunteer every week even though I do paid work. Yesterday I was on a contract when someone had a mental health breakdown in front of me. I had to offer to help because everyone looked so frightened. She was just a poor soul in a stressful situation and it all worked out. You are awesome!

    1. I know Kerry, I told you we share a lot in common and I’m so glad we connected.<3

      1. Me too!

  6. Good for you and love the wig!

    1. Thanks Cindy!

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