International Women’s Day
March 07, 2017|
By Chrissy Renee|
Today is a day we celebrate woman, all that they do, and push for greater quality. I thought I’d reflect on some of the amazing woman I have met, all over the globe, since losing my sight. Each has inspired and supported me through the uncertainty and fear of losing my sight.
I met Liz through an organisation and we immediately hit it off. Liz is legally blind from a combination of RP and Macular Oedema. She was more experienced on her vision loss journey than I, and provided me with guidance and most importantly allowed me to vent and simply listened without judgment. She was the only person who I felt understood me as I was grappling with my diagnosis. Liz left her corporate job due to her vision loss as it was not sustainable and has since returned to university and does a heap of volunteer work. She is a true warrior in the face of adversity, she works through the barriers she faces and continually comes out on top (even though sometimes she will probably deny this!).
Lexi is the most driven and determined woman I know. She excels at literally everything she does, topping her year in psychology. She has no barriers and her opportunities are limitless. Her passion and commitment for her career is contagious and she has become a mentor to me, being ahead in her psychology journey. Not only do we discuss statistics, but Lexi helps me to ‘see’ that having a vision impairment shouldn’t be a barrier. She encourages me to get out there and work through my personal issues.
Janet is one of my long-distance Stargardt’s best friends all the way from Arizona, USA. We met through a Facebook support group and have been friends ever since, talking about anything from our condition, experiences, boys to politics. When we first began chatting, Janet was unsure what to do with her life after being diagnosed. She finished school and is now studying to be an Occupational Therapist. It wasn’t easy to secure her place in college but she refused to give up. From first meeting her, she has grown into a positive, ambitious and determined woman who is succeeding despite her adversity. Witnessing her blossom and achieve her goals has made me feel lucky to have this experience.
Another Stargardt-ian, Jenna is from Florida USA. We also met on a Facebook support group many years ago. She is one creative and passionate soul. I have previously shared her beautiful art on this blog. Jenna designed our STME logo. As someone who is not a very good artist, seeing the beautiful work she creates despite being vision impaired demonstrates how nothing will stop a person from doing what they love.
Grace is one of the recipients of the STME Scholarship. Having struggled with her vision impairment whilst studying, she refused to give up and found a way to make it happen. Her end goal is to be able to assist others with disabilities and no doubt she will be an asset to the community. She demonstrates that there is always a way and we are proud to be able to assist her in purchasing the technology she needs to study.
Another STME scholarship recipient, Sammy works whilst completing her Masters. She hasn’t let her vision impairment stand in the way of helping her community, and fiercely pursues her goals. She is yet another example of how vision loss is not a barrier to having a successful career and pursuing studies.
These are just a few of the inspiring woman who are living with vision loss, who you don’t often hear about. They live their lives each day with purpose and don’t let their vision become a barrier.