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 Marketing@FightingBlindness.org.
Evolving With Eyesight and Life
Gavin was diagnosed with Stargardt disease at the age of 19. In his own words, Gavin shares his experience over the last 13 years adjusting to the unpredictability of his vision loss and how being a new parent has shifted his mindset.
Blindness Community Commemorates Judy Heumann
Judy Heumann worked tirelessly for decades to improve the quality of life, access, and inclusion for all people with disabilities across the globe.
Blind Paralympian Reaching New Heights
Isaac Jean-Paul was diagnosed with X-linked juvenile retinoschisis (XLRS) at the age of two. Isaac was always set on being a professional athlete, and now he’s a Paralympian, winning bronze in the long jump in the 2020 Games and breaking the high jump world record three times.
Rewriting the Narrative as the First Black Deaf-Blind Journalist
Steven McCoy has made history as the first black deaf-blind journalist in the world, as he was recently diagnosed with Usher syndrome after a lifelong struggle with hearing loss. Equipped with a passion for storytelling and advocacy, he now uses his voice to create lasting change within the entertainment industry and deaf-blind community.
A Love Without Limits: How John and Min Conquer Blindness Together
In honor of Valentine’s Day, the Foundation Fighting Blindness brings you a special edition of our Beacon Story series, which covers the unique journey of visually impaired couple John and Min.
Birding Blind: Identifying Birds by Song
Martha Steele has been birding for over 30 years, but the way in which she birds has changed over time. Martha has Usher syndrome, with her central vision declining rapidly in the early 2000s and receiving her first cochlear implant in 2010. Now she birds entirely by ear and has learned the songs of about 150 bird species.
Retinal Research Community Loses Beloved Pioneer Sam Jacobson
His many contributions included pivotal work that led to LUXTURNA
Fearless Sister Duo Finding Hope
April LuFriu and Melissa Escobio are sisters and best friends who do just about everything together, including having retinitis pigmentosa (RP).
Resourceful Advocate for Research
Manorthia was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa (RP) when she was 22 years old but didn’t start experiencing considerable vision loss until years later. Once she began to notice her vision deteriorating more rapidly, she reached out to the Foundation Fighting Blindness to get involved with the blindness community.
Chloe’s Creative Journey with Vision Loss
Chloé Duplessis is a legally blind digital collage artist in Denver, Colorado. At 39 years old, Chloé was diagnosed with Stargardt disease, which was a pivotal point in her creative journey to becoming a full-time artist and owner of Duplessis Art.