Visually impaired woman grateful for her abilities
FROM birth, 19-year-old Faith Green was diagnosed with congenital glaucoma that rendered her completely blind in the right eye, but with about 80 percent vision, with glasses, in the left. To this day, though, she has never adopted the mentality that she is different from anyone else, nor does she view her limited sight as a disability.
“I don’t call it a disability; it’s more of a challenge. I am able to do so much with so little, as opposed to others who have their full vision,” Faith confidently expressed during a recent interview with the Pepperpot Magazine.
The teen attended East Ruimveldt Secondary and South Road Primary Schools and is currently pursuing Communications Studies at the University of Guyana; ironically, with hopes of becoming a photographer.
In school, Faith would not discuss her eye problem with anyone; in fact, no one knew she was so limited in her sight. Hence, she acknowledged that because she didn’t open up, no one knew how to help her. “It took a long time for me to talk to people because I was afraid they would judge me and talk about my eyes. Oh, she has big eye and small eye, and that’s what they said without even talking to me.”
Silently battling with the challenges that came up made her discouraged to the point where she started staying away from school. But a bright idea then came to her. She thought, ‘Why not enroll for the classes being offered at the Guyana Society for the Blind?’
This greatly assisted Faith in moving forward with her life. “I met people who are just like me and who knows what it feels like to be different. That inspired me to do better and change.”
Faith had preferred not to talk about her issues because she wasn’t up for being treated differently and with sympathy. “I don’t like talking about it much because I don’t want people to treat me differently and I don’t want them to feel that they have to treat me like a disabled person; that they have to help me do simple tasks because to me, I don’t see it as a difficulty. I don’t see it as a challenge or problem because maybe I got accustomed to it. I’m living every day and I am doing everything like anyone else.”
Faith’s problem is not one that can be fixed, but the most she can do is to take eye drops day and night. But she takes each day at a time. “There are times when I have to talk to myself and push myself to do things. But I am not allowing anything to limit me.”
And this is what she advises others to do as well. “Go for your dreams and don’t let any challenges stop you. Be optimistic, be brave, be bold. Be everything that you can be. That’s what I am trying to do.”