“These eyes. These eyes are going to change lives!”
Our story begins one September morning.
Well, actually, it begins a little while before then…
Looking into these big, beautiful, blue eyes, I always knew my oldest daughter would be destined for great things. For the first 11 years of her life, her 20/20 vision saw beauty in the world like none other.
When the school nurse suggested we have her eyes examined because she struggled just a little with the bottom line of the eye chart during the routine eye exam, we thought nothing of it. Shortly after we obtained her first eyeglass prescription and went on with our life.
It wasn’t until a year later, during her first ever sports physical, that we ever had any idea there could be something more.
Somehow between that first exam and this physical, our daughter’s vision had deteriorated so badly that she couldn’t pass a physical with her glasses on.
Even so, we still did not fret. Surely her annual eye exam, which we had scheduled just a few days after her sports physical, would help us correct any issues with her current prescription.
But it didn’t.
Instead our optometrist turned to me and said “We need to get you in with a specialist, ASAP. There is something going on with your daughter’s eyes that I cannot see.”
What? What on earth could she mean?
So I reached out to a friend, an eye doctor who is also the young men’s leader in our church…someone I know and trust. He asked me to bring her in so he could run some tests and see if he could help us figure out what was going on.
And so we did.
It was at this appointment that we first learned that there was something wrong with her macula, a small spot at the back of her retina. Knowing he could not hone in on an exact diagnosis, he connected us with a retina specialist in our area and got us in quickly for another appointment…another exam…another test.
At this point, we did not know for certain what was happening…I did my research and based on her symptoms determined that it might be something like Stargardt’s Disease, a juvenile form of Macular Degeneration.
With continued advancements on Macular Degeneration happening all the time, I had hope; hope we could sustain her vision, hope we might even be able to get her eyes to heal.
Yet as we sat there in the retina specialists office, questioning why these big, beautiful eyes had gone from 20/20 to 20/200 without aide and could get no better than 20/100 with aide, I was afraid our answers wouldn’t be so simple.
And as mother’s intuition often goes…I was correct.
You see, while my daughter had some of the tale tale symptoms of Stargardt’s Disease, she also was lacking come of the distinct symptoms like the yellow spot that can be seen in the retina.
No, our answer wouldn’t be so simple.
In fact, the news we received that day, that early September morning, was that our daughter likely has a genetic disorder that is extremely rare. So rare there is no known treatment.
And when I asked “what do we do now?”
His answer was a very grim “we wait and see.”
After tears were shed and I was able to recompose myself, I sat up straight, looked him in the eye and said “Okay. We will do everything we can!”
This won me a confused look from the specialist who just told me there was nothing we could do…but in my heart and in my mind I knew something about the tools available to us that he didn’t… and with that, I had something he tried to tell me I didn’t.
I had hope.
You see, just over a year before this journey to help my daughter maintain and potentially regain her vision started, a door was opened to me. My husband and I made the decision for me to cut back hours at work so that I could learn more, become adept and educated in natural sources to help my family.
We had suffered at the hands of allopathic practices way too long. The side effects we battled were astounding and often worse than the issues we were seeking treatment for.
So when I had success helping my family manage their wellness with nutrition, supplements and all of the gifts of the earth, we knew that it was time for me to turn this into something where I could help others the way we had helped our family.
In that time, one of the concerns I had helped several people with happened to be Macular Degeneration. And while my daughter’s ailment does not appear to be this (we will find out more when we see the Retina Foundation for even more testing next month), I came into this appointment knowing that natural changes could be made which would help support her macula.
And even if I couldn’t stop her vision from deteriorating right away…I had hope that we could slow it.
And in time, I have hope that we may even be able to reverse it.
Understanding what a gift this is…
To have hope when the world would tell you there is none, I could not contain my joy, my gratitude for such an amazing gift.
And thus was born, Wellness Advocates of HOPE (Helping Other People Everywhere).
This site is dedicated to the stories of how we and other professional Wellness Advocates have incorporated natural solutions into our daily lives, to help you on your own journey, to help you find your hope…even when the world would tell you there is none.
We thank you for joining us along this path and look forward to helping you every step of the way.
Founder of Wellness Advocates of HOPE and blogger at: htttp://andloveittoo.com