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THE MACULAR
DEGENERATION COMMUNITY

Danielle


 

Name
Danielle

Born
1978

Home
Ohio

Diagnosis
Stargardt Disease

Eyes Affected
Both

Eye Color
Brown

Age at Diagnosis
12

Acuity
20/200 corrected with contacts

Treatment
Just try to be healthy, wear sunglasses, and take vitamins.

Family History
Two other sisters have the disease as well, but no one in remembered family history had this.

Impact on My Life
Profound. I can't drive. Facial recognition is difficult, so social life is more challenging. However, I did make it through college and grad school. I had friends who would tell me who was coming down the sidewalk and who to greet. Simple tasks can be quite challenging, but not necessarily impossible. I have struggled with depression and anger, due to my loss of sight and inability to drive; but I believe there is a reason for everything, especially for my "eye thing." One of the hardest aspects of this disease is that it's not obvious. I often look snobby or silly because I simply can't see. But once people know, they understand.

Positive Effects
I am so thankful for the sight I do have. And, without fail, whenever I begin to feel sorry for myself, I see someone in a wheel chair or learn of someone with cancer. I can still do so much! I have learned that strength can be found in weakness, and that I am not alone. Also, having to deal with an ongoing impairment teaches you to be sensitive to others and what they are going through. I have also learned so much about humility. Being able to laugh at myself!

Adaptations
My sister found a fabulous magnifier at Barnes & Noble. It's a plastic dome, basically. It's the BEST magnifier ever. Made my life so much easier.

Employment
Currently a stay at home mom.