WOTM 34 Featuring Mara Lauren
“No disability should hold us back from anything our hearts desire.”~Mara
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 was diagnosed with Usher 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. 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. 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.
Feelings Of Isolation
The feeling of being alone, not knowing what will happen and what the future would bring really hit me hard. I disconnected from the world and the feeling of not wanting to live anymore was always on my mind.
Eventually, I 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.
Kicking It Up A Notch
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!
Catching Up With Mara
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 occasionally 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.
- Header (Barcelona, Spain): Photo of Mara looking very stylish wearing fashionable shades while sitting on an outdoor patio at a table holding an espresso in her right hand.
- Mara in the snow: Playful photo of Mara standing in front of a massive snowbank. She’s smiling broadly while holding her hat with both hands. She’s decked out in a tan knee length puffer coat, gray knit scarf tied around her neck, duck boots, sunglasses and white cane in her right hand.
- The Vatican City, St. Peters Basilica And Sistine Chapel: Mara is walking along the cobblestones with her white cane wearing jeans, a tee, hat and back pack. Groups of tourists are milling about.
- Cream Midi Dress: Mara is in a cobble stone alleyway holding up her cane in her right hand. She’s wearing a long-sleeved cream midi dress with black boots and shades.
- In this shot Mara has her cane in her right hand and a carry out cup of coffer in her left. She has on a thigh lenght black puffer jacket with cream fur around the collar paired with black leggings, booties, knit cap and shades.
- Eiffle Tower, Paris: Mara is on a sidewalk navigating it with her white cane and in the background is the Eiffle Towwe. She’s wearing a burnt orange trench coat over a gray outfit with black boots, black handbag and shades.