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Teresa from Australia

Teresa’s Story

My name is Teresa Penny. I am 19. I was 7 when I started to notice that I was having trouble seeing things, so my parents took me optomitrist after optomitrist and they did not have a clue. They gave me glasses but it didn’t help, they gave me eye exersises and all they did was make my eyes hurt.

Four years later after everyone had given up including me, and even my teachers were telling me I was doing it for attenchen, I was refered to a specialest. His name is Dr Glen Gole and after many tests (and aren’t they fun), he discovered that I had stargardts. It was hard for my parents I think they blamed themselves but they were’nt to know.

I tried my hardest to fit in and sometimes it was alright and other times it was hard and still is. It got hard in high school. I needed my sheets inlarged so I could see them, sometimes it was done and other times it was’nt ,so I would have to go do it myself and I would fall behind in my work. So, instead of working harder I gave up and started skipping school. When I was 16 I was classed legally blind, that really sucked. Soon after that I left school and ran a muck (as any 16 year old did) with three friends. Friends are something special, mine are anyway. My best friend I have been friends with for 14 years and I don’t know how she did it , we don’t talk much any more she has moved away. I still have other friends that I have known for a long time and they help me with everything I need.

I don’t use a cane or a guide dog, I still get around by myself alright – I am too stubbotn. My family worry about me too much but I guess I understand. I don’t live at home and I have a job at a bowls club in the kitchen – I ‘m a kitchenhand/waitress and I love it. I have always wanted to be a chef and I think this will be the closest I’ll ever get, but thats o.k. with me.

A nice guy is hard to find but they do come along. I have my nice ones and my not so nice ones, I’m on my own at the moment and the more I am, the more I like it.

So, that is my life story anyway and I hope someone can benefit from it, and always remember never let anyone tell you , you cannot do something because of your eyesight problem, people told me I would never work in a kitchen and I am. I have also been to many places all over Australia by myself, it was great and I had the best time. So never give up.