LIVING WITH STARGARDTS
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Courtney from San Diego, CA

Courtney’s Story

Hey everyone! My name is Courtney and I’m 19 years old and live in San Diego, CA. I was diagnosed with Stargardt’s in 2002 as a sophmore in high school after many years of complaining that something wasn’t right. Doctors thought I was only doing it for attention. I was sent for pyschological tests and brain scans. I finally was given a fluroscein angiogram and diagnosed properly. I’ve been going to UCLA for yearly appointments ever since.

I went to an all girl private high school against the will of my doctors. Private schools don’t cater to certain needs very well. I had many meetings with all my teachers, simply asking to make handouts and tests in a bigger font. You would have thought I asked them to give me a million dollars. They always forgot about it and I just sucked it up and took the test anyway. The school conselor started taking me out of class to talk to me about my “problem”. I didn’t think of it as a problem at that point. I just needed a little bit of assistance that wasn’t there. I did drama for all 4 years of high school. My senior year I noticed that I wasn’t able to do the lighting the way I used to. I couldn’t see everything on the computer screen so someone else had to design the lighting. I was crushed.

I diidn’t apply to colleges because I didn’t think it woul d be worth my while. I wanted to be a flight attendant and I was told I wouldnt be able to. I went to a junior college for a year but I’m taking time off to travel now. I want to see the world while I still can. I’m going to Italy and Greece next summer. I’m working as a waitress right now and one of our regular customers has Stargardts so I get a chance to talk to him a lot and just try to cope.

I’ve been in a real funk lately. I went to a concert and a play this past month and I felt like I didn’t get the full effect cause I couldn’t see the performers. Plays and concerts used to be my favorite pasttime. My parents want me to go to a support group but I don’t think I will ever be able to do that. I figured I’d give this a try. Feel free to email me. I’d love to hear from anyone and everyone. :-)

Courtney
E-mail: courtney_dahill@hotmail.com