Sunday, November 23, 2008

An inspiring story....

“Macular degeneration is the leading cause of severe vision loss in people over age 60. It occurs when the small central portion of the retina, known as the macula, deteriorates. The retina is the light-sensing nerve tissue at the back of the eye. Because the disease develops as a person ages, it is often referred to as age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Although macular degeneration is almost never a blinding condition, it can be a source of significant visual disability.” Source:

Jules Brenner, a long time resident of Longmeadow developed macular degeneration many years before his death in 2006. I met Julie for the first time when he attended a Internet class for seniors at Center School in Longmeadow about 10 years ago. In the years after the initial diagnosis, Julie was able to learn how to use a computer, play cards and other normal activities that we all take for granted.

In the 20 minute audio clip produced by Story Corps, his wife Ruth shares their life experiences together with this problem and Julie’s story of perserverance to overcome his vision handicap that allowed the two of them to live a close to normal life.

Please share this blog posting if you know someone who is developing this problem- Julie’s story might make a huge difference.

[For those who are interested… the software that Julie learned through the Veterans Administration educational program to conquer the computer in spite of his vision problems is called ZoomText and I would strongly recommend its use. The local VA contact is Jim Waldron in West Haven, CT at 1-800-645-6373.]