Article was written by Jane
In 2022, at age 74, I was diagnosed with Leberʼs Hereditary Optic Neuropathy (LHON). It is uncommon for women to have this eye condition because while women are carriers of the gene, it manifests more frequently in males. LHON is a genetic eye disease inherited from the mother. We found out in 1989 that it was in the family when a family member was diagnosed.
Later in 2006, my son was also diagnosed and became totally blind. My vision loss was a very fast progression. Initially, I started struggling with clouding and what I would see would be blurred. Images looked less sharp, and I started seeing fewer details. Tasks such as reading, recognizing faces, and completing household tasks became more challenging. Now I can only see shadows and tell when it is light or dark.
My son and other family members informed me about services available to the blind. A family friend recommended that I reach out to Outlook Enrichment. I started working with Enrichment because I was struggling with using my phone.
Through the training, I made the decision to switch to the iPhone because it is more accessible and there are more apps available for the blind. I am now learning more things like how to access Zoom meetings. I look forward to my weekly classes, as they are very important to me. I need to learn these things, and my trainer is kind and accepting of my insecurities. I have looked at my vision loss as a project. I donʼt have a choice, I have to keep learning. Losing my vision threw me in a tailspin, as everything is so different now. The world is not welcoming to those with vision loss, and the day-to-day impacts vary from person to person.
I like that Outlook Enrichment uses other individuals who are blind to teach the blind. I support any employment of the blind and visually impaired. I support Outlook with my donations because they have been able to assist me with moving forward on my vision loss journey.