Despite being registered blind for over a decade I have never been involved with the blind community. I decided early on to try and adapt as much as I could and keep this in a constant cycle, it was only when these adaptations required the use of a cane I became involved.
My increasing involvement has seen me start to arrange a fundraising event for Sheffield Royal Society for the Blind (SRSB). While I was chatting with the event organiser she mentioned there was a RP group meeting in a few weeks and would I like to come along. Unsure of what would be involved I thought it might be interesting.
The meeting consisted of a Dr talking about possible cures. Now I must mention as he did these cures are a long way off. We are talking gene therapy, stem cell research and bionic implants. All pretty much sci-fi at this point in time. I am well aware if a cure will be found it is at least 1-2 decades away. I am fine with this if there is a cure great! I will take it, if not I will have adapted and be doing what I want regardless.
The majority of people at the meeting seemed to get a lot from a talk on possible cures, they were seeking a medical classification and cure. U moved away from this idea many years ago. I feel concentrating on adapting rather than hoping for a cure is more productive. After all if I sat at home waiting for a cure that would be a very boring life.
Due to this I didn’t particularly take much from the meeting and when asked by the organisers I mentioned this. And I was asked the question “if you could turn back the clock and make is so you never lost your sight, would you?” the answer is no. While I would happily take a cure I wouldn’t change what has happened. I am only where I am in life due to everything that has gone, losing my vision made me adapt in specific ways. Each of those adaptations led me down a new path.
The path I have found myself on currently I am very happy with, a psychology student aiming towards a career path in clinical psyhoclogy or maybe even sport to tie in with my other passion right now, running. I only began running in an effort to push the boundaries and see what I was capable of, I don’t think I would ever of challenged myself like this if I had retained my vision.
I still plan to attend the meetings and hope there will be lots of talk about adapting and moving forward. I also look forward to working with SRSB.