Inspirational Voices from the Fighting Blindness Community

Being diagnosed with anything can be hard, and you certainly will go through a range of emotions. You are not alone. Many have been in your shoes and have dealt with their diagnosis in different ways. Some feel a sense of relief when they can share their stories with others who are going through a similar situation.

The Foundation Fighting Blindness is a beacon for those affected by blinding retinal diseases. With our Beacon Stories, we share individual’s journeys with their disease and how their drive fuels them to pursue their passions. Not only do we find their stories aspirational, we believe these individuals are true beacons of strength, champions of courage, and advocates for hope. We hope these stories provide you with light that will get you through the darkness. Collectively, we are stronger together – as a community.

Do you have a story you'd like to share with the Fighting Blindness community? Let us know at

Beacon Stories

  • Jun 18, 2024

    Embracing and Adapting to AMD

    In her almost eighth decade of life, Toni Mehler has learned to adapt to the unknown, and she draws from those experiences to embrace her diagnosis of AMD.

    Beacon Stories
  • May 20, 2024

    “Vision Is Better Than Sight”

    Isaiah Bingham is the first legally blind football player in Delaware. At just 14 years old, he’s excelling as a team captain and award-winning athlete and is inspiring others as he advocates for those with disabilities.

    Beacon Stories
  • May 6, 2024

    A Mom’s Journey

    In honor of the upcoming Mother’s Day, New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author Jennifer Probst is sharing her personal story of her son’s diagnosis with Stargardt disease.

    Beacon Stories
  • Apr 25, 2024

    The Stargardt Sisters

    We’re honoring National DNA Day with the Danny family! When Sarah and A. J. found out their oldest daughter Lucia had Stargardt disease, it was a challenge to process her diagnosis. And then they realized their other five children could also be affected. Through genetic testing, they learned their five-year-old daughter Sarafina also has Stargardt disease. Now, Lucia and Sarafina have a bond like no other, and call each other the “Stargardt Sisters.”

    Beacon Stories
  • Apr 8, 2024

    What Does “Blindness” Really Mean?

    Jenny Schisler has retinitis pigmentosa. Jenny wants to spread awareness of what having a visual impairment really means to her and others affected by retinal degenerative diseases.

    Beacon Stories
  • Mar 25, 2024

    Rocking On With Stargardt

    Adopted into a musical family, Miles Hoyt picked up a guitar at just four years old, and he hasn’t stopped playing since. Now Miles, who has Stargardt disease, and his parents are using music to bring their community together to raise funds for blinding diseases with their Raising Our Sights fundraiser, Smiles for Miles.

    Beacon Stories DIY Campaign Success Stories
  • Mar 11, 2024

    Influencing Positivity for the Disabled Community

    Content creator and social media influencer Stephanie Renberg uses her platforms to raise awareness for blindness and disabilities in hopes that her openness about her Stargardt disease will contribute to a more inclusive and understanding world.

    Beacon Stories
  • Feb 12, 2024

    “The Future Holds Promise” on International Day of Women and Girls in Science

    International Day of Women and Girls in Science is celebrated globally to recognize the critical role women play in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. To honor this vital day, the Foundation is sharing the story of Dr. Esther Biswas-Fiss.

    Beacon Stories
  • Feb 5, 2024

    Foundation’s Reach Inspires Partnership for Nixon Family

    After Janine’s diagnosis of an IRD caused by a mutation of the PRPH2 gene, she and her husband set out to learn and help all they could. So they started working with the Foundation Fighting Blindness and have launched the ‘PRPH2 and Associated Retinal Degenerations Program.’

    Beacon Stories
  • Jan 22, 2024

    Blind Advocate Triumphs as a Hockey Pioneer

    Josh Schneider is a former teacher and student-athlete whose life took an unexpected turn due to an optic nerve condition. Years after receiving his diagnosis, Josh transformed his passion for sports into a platform for advocacy. Today, he thrives as a blind hockey player, defying expectations and leading two foundations committed to raising awareness and providing support to blind hockey players.

    Beacon Stories