Everyone has a story…. a journey they are on. Welcome to my Journey.
A DOUBLE DOSE OF DARKNESS:
I was supposed to be a third grade teacher. A great, inspiring third grade teacher. I dreamt about it my whole life. I practiced for it when I was a child. I earned the degree, I took the tests, I landed the job.
And then I was dealt a double dose of darkness: both of my sons were diagnosed as blind when they were each 4 months old. I was told they were both “so blind” that they would need to learn to read braille and would walk with a white cane. No baseball, no driving in their future. I had never even met a blind person. I had no idea how to move forward. I collapsed under the weight of my dreams for my family that we would never see come true.
MAKING THE TURN TO GREATNESS:
Once I made the choice to move forward despite the fear, the anger and the disappointment I was nearly suffocating with, I began finding the tools blind children need and got them in the hands of my boys, literally. With the right foundation and a multitude of resources, they have become accomplished athletes, high achieving students, talented musicians, and social butterflies. Oh, and international Braille competition finalists too.
In May 2011, I connected with other families living with the same rare disease my boys have, and launched a mission to fund a cure. No advanced degree. Never created a website before. Had no idea about grants, or IRB’s… the list goes on. I learned how to build a team, nearby and remote, of people that know how to do the things I don’t. I spend nearly every minute of every day networking with people that can help either medically, financially, or otherwise. In less than five years, our Curing Retinal Blindness Foundation is making progress we thought would take much longer and people are calling on us daily to be a part of a miracle that seemed impossible less than a decade ago.
I now mentor families living with blindness, and I speak at events large and small about moving past fears & obstacles to achieve great things.