Hi, my name is Jimmy. I was diagnosed with stargardts when I was about 8 years old, about 13 years ago. Like most people it took me a while to arrive at the accurate diagnosis. After several inaccurate diagnosis in China, I arrived at the diagnosis of stargardts disease wen I moved to Australia in 1990. It was quite difficult at first to adjust to the decline in vision.
As the years have gone by, I have learnt several important lessons. Firstly, it is important to be honest with yourself and others about the severity of your condition. I have found that when I tell people about my vision, I seem to feel more comfortable interacting with them afterwards, and they tend to become a lot more helpful. Secondly, when I acknowledged the need for equipment to assist with my vision, the visual aids (especially speech and enlargement software for computers and my mobile phone) have helped greatly.
Another major thing which has made an enormous difference to my life occurred about one and a half years ago. In July, 2003, I received Jesus as my Lord and Savior, and on August 17, 2003, I was baptized. This has changed my life. God has guided me and helped me through the tough times and given me a purpose in my life. He has given me such a supportive spiritual family in our church, and my church family have helped me in becoming a more confident and sociable person. Now I have nothing to fear, because God is with me! After coming to Christ, I have recalled so many situations where God has guided me and protected me. I remembered several situations where I almost got ran over by cars and a tram, but God has protected me. And on one occasion, I remember being at university, looking for some people amongst a crowd of people near the library. It seemed hopeless, but thank God after praying, miraculously when I walked out the library door, there were the people I was looking for. And there have been several other occasions where God has answered my prayers miraculously where my vision seemed to have failed me. Praise God!