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“BUILDING CONFIDENCE IN A WORLD OF DARKNESS”

Today, Leanne is confident in her faith and has a strong support network. She has so much to be thankful for. With the skills she’s learned Leanne continues to cook meals for her family, she paints, crafts and recently reupholstered a sofa and chair all on her own!

As you can probably imagine, losing your vision is scary! I was in college when I began experiencing dullness in colors. My parents took me to the Eye Institute. They told me I was color blind and night blind. Can you imagine being an artist with color blindness?

In January of 1993 at the age of 21 I got the diagnosis of RP (Retinitis Pigmentosa). The doctors said I’d likely have 10 more years with some vision. However, it went much quicker than that. Five years later my right eye “popped” like a light bulb and then total darkness. It was like a sheet of black construction paper had been placed over my right eye.

My life really started to fall apart in 2005. My abusive marriage was ending and I moved north to New Hampshire. Once completely on my own I had two choices. I could either curl up in a ball and simply exist or live life to its fullest despite my blindness. I’m glad I chose the latter. It was soon after my move that I met Sarah, a vision rehabilitation therapist from the New Hampshire Association for the Blind. I’ll never forget her. She came into my life at the right time. My world had just collapsed and what I needed was someone like her who was calm, gentle and nurturing. She took her time as she taught me helpful ways to manage my life without sight. I was on my own, blind and scared; she was honest and made me feel secure.

The people at the New Hampshire Association for the Blind are the best folks I’ve ever met. I don’t know where I’d be if it weren’t for their help or the special aids and devices they’ve given me.

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