Ray’s Story – As of July 15, 2009
It started in kindergarten when my teachers noticed me struggling distinguishing colors. This led my teacher to believe I had a learning disability and my parents were advised to make me repeat my first year of kindergarten. Turns out I was just a shy kid who was colorblind and losing his vision. When I was about 12 my eye doctor at the time would get frustrated with me and thought I was just refusing to read the eye chart. Then he thought I had a lazy eye and recommended we patch one eye in an attempt to strengthen the other. This is when I learned that eye patches were not as cool as I thought. When I was about 15 years old and several doctors later I was finally diagnosed with Stargardt’s Disease. I am now 32 and my vision has been a stable20/200 for about the last 10 years.
I am currently a research chemist and a landlord, but the road to the present day has not been an easy one. They have been filled with tears and self doubt with a dose of depression. Unfortunately I feel like I’ve never really come to grips with the disease. Sometimes it feels like my life has been on hold, waiting in hopes of a cure. The biggest downside to this disease is not being able to drive. It has prevented me from obtaining desired jobs and feeling independent. My friends and family have been a tremendous help and I couldn’t have got where I am without them. My biggest inspiration though has been my fiancé. She has the ability to lift my spirits even on the hardest of days. I highly recommend one of these and I wish I could clone her.
I would love to share and answer any questions anyone has about my journeys. Please feel free to e-mail me at: firstname.lastname@example.org.