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THE MACULAR
DEGENERATION COMMUNITY

John


 

Name
John Klopfenstein

Born
8/1/88

Home
Vermont

Diagnosis
Stargardt disease

Eyes Affected
Both

Eye Color
Green/Blue

Age at Diagnosis
15-16

Treatment
None. Aladdin Sunshine magnifier used for reading large amounts, small dome magnifying glass for short readings.

Prognosis or Current State of Vision
My last exam was better than the one before it. My docter thinks my eyes have stopped degenerating.

Family History
None

Impact on My Life
Not being able to drive sucks, but the hardest thing is not being able to recognize people from a distance. I'm nervous about going to the cafeteria at my school, because I cannot recognize friends from across the room. I'm afraid it will make me look weak if I don't see someone.

School is very hard. I often need twice the time required on tests, because it takes me so much longer to read. I have to bum rides from my friends all the time. I think they get frustrated with driving the blind kid around.

I didn't really realize how much this disease effected me until I sat down to write about it.

Positive Effects
This disease has shown me the high calibre of the people around me. Everyone I have told about this disease has been extrememly supportive and always willing to help me out.

Adaptations
Reading magnifiers and ZoomText on computers.

Employment
Veterinary technician, college student.

More About Me
I love anything to do with the outdoors, although recently mountain biking and skiing is becoming more and more difficult.