My name is Cindy and I was diagnosed with the disease when I was 18, I am 23 now expecting to lose my license very soon. My vision started declining when I was in the 6th grade but then my optometrist thought it was just a normal thing. Gradually my vision got worse, glasses weren’t helping me as much, finally it got to where I could ony see half of a car’s license tag looking straight at it. So I told my mom something definetly wasn’t right. We went to a different eye doctor, Dr. Hulse. He had me do the regular eye exam. Afterwards he said he had an idea of what was wrong with me but didn’t want to diagnose it just yet, so he scheduled me for a Glacoma Exam, which helped him see what area of the eye wasn’t working. He told me what I had, and sent me to a specialist who confirmed it.
At first I was a little depressed about it but now I just grin and bear it. My family still don’t quite understand what I can and cannot see, but they are supportive and helpful all the time. I have been successful, I was able to buy a house when I was 21 and I have been able to keep my job. I work at our local library, though I don’t know how long I’ll be able to stay there. Thankfully, a co-worker of mine, Robert, downloaded a free Dragnifier off the internet which allows me to magnify what I am looking at. Also, Cindy Wilson, another co-worker, is on the Council for the Blind, so she has helped me tremendously along with the council. My boss has put me in charge of the Library for the Blind which a lot of peolple don’t know about but its a free service for those with vision impairments. Also thanks to Cindy, my work has purchased several low vision products to aid others along with my self in trying to read. . The only time I get kind of depressed is when a patron sees me with my face close to a computer screen, and says “You need to get some glasses before you go blind”. I usually laugh and tell them glasses won’t cure what I got. I try not to get upset but sometimes it hurts thinking about not being able to see family or friends faces anymore. I try not to think about the future only about today. I am thankful I have been able to see the people I love dearly before their faces diisappear. God has given me this gift for a reason I may never know but I am thankful for it because I don’t take sight for granted anymore and I appreciate everyday I can still see. One benefit is that I’m not completely blind, I will still have my periphreal vision when I’m old and gray so it could be worse. I really think there will be a cure soon and look forward to it but until then I’ll just keep smiling and living each day to the fullest.