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THE MACULAR
DEGENERATION COMMUNITY

Marisa

Read my story:
"Taking Stargardt Disease By The Hand"

Name
Marisa Snyder

Born
1969

Home
Nazareth, PA

Diagnosis
Stargardt disease

Eyes Affected
Both

Eye Color
Brown -somtimes Hazel

Age at Diagnosis
21

Acuity
20/100 - 20/200

Treatment
I have not received any treatment, but started taking Lutein on my own.

Prognosis
Though I was diagnosed at 21, my vision deteriorated rapidly to 20/400 at 25. I did not drive for 7 years. When I turned 32, my visual acquity increased (on its own) to 20/100 and even as good as 20/70. I received a very restricted driver's license and have been driving since that time. I am now 39 and have been tested annually. I think my vision is starting to deteriorate again, due to tremendous eye strain, as I am in graduate school.

Family History
No one in my family has SD.

Impact On Your Life
The diagnosis was difficult. Not driving is one of the most difficult challenges that this disease takes. Each year, I stress knowing that at any time my privilege may end.

Positive Effects
Stargardt's Disease will not win! Having this disease has taught me to work even harder - to do the impossible and believe with the eyes of faith. The light that I see when I close my eyes is so beautiful, and I like to believe that it is the Light of Christ. It keeps me centered and focused and has taught me to find my voice for myself, as well as others.

Adaptations
I love ZOOM-TEXT - it opened a whole new world for me! I use a pendant magnifier that is worn around my neck at all times. I use Max-TV's for seeing the television. I use my monocular for distance and seeing my children in sporting events and shows. I use a CCTV for bills and school work.

Employment
I have taught for close to 20 years as a special education teacher. I also worked as the director of religious education in a very large parish. I am in graduate school for pastoral counseling and am currently writing a young adult children's novel.

More About Me
I have two sons and was married for 12 years. I recently became engaged to a wondrful man, and he is helping me to put together an on-line store for some cool low-vision aids. We plan on donating some of the proceeds to MD Support and FFB. I am hoping to put a link on this site soon!