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Marty from Kalamazoo, Mi

Marty’s Story

My name is Marty. I am a 21 year old male and I am living in Kalamazoo, Mi. and going to college. I am a freshmen. I was diagnosed with Stargardt’s when I was six but I wasn’t able to see very well before then. They knew something was wrong when I started walking – I hesitated and ran into things. Now I don’t run into anything anymore because I am used to my vision. I have 20/500 in my right eye and 20/600 in my left eye. Like everyone else, I have had, and still have, my frustrations and always will but I look at them as good for me because when I get frustrated I want to accomplish something even more. I have been told and I have also read many things about people taking one day at a time when you have Stargardt’s – I don’t do that and I don’t htink you should. I mean life’s about goals, if you live one day at a time you are never going to reach goals. I have never heard of anybody else having Stargardts until I was 20. Nor did I meet or hear of a blind or visually impaired persons.

I went into a depression for a few years. In Sept. of 2000 I decided to come out of my room and turn on the tv, I hate tv, I never watch because it’s hard to do but when I turned it on to espn, they ran a documentary on a lady named Marla Runyan who has Stargardts. I don’t know if any of you have ever heard of her but she ran in the Olympics in Sydney. Since then i have reached every goal that I have tried for and now I’m in college and also running at college level and some day maybe at an Olympic level – that’s one of my goals and I will reach it. But for people just getting Stargardts later in life, don’t take one day at a time, don’t ignore it either because if you ignore it you’re not going to deal with it. I have met 11 people with Stargardts now and every one of them were as stubborn as I am so I think that comes with the gene as well. Therefore you have nothing to worry about in life.

Thank you for reading this and if you want to ask any questions my e-mail is: