Terri C.’s vision loss started with “floaters,” small dark shapes that float across the visual field. Her eye doctor confirmed that she has diabetic retinopathy caused by high blood sugar levels. Diabetes damages the retina, the part of your eye that detects light and sends signals to the brain through the optic nerve. Today, Terri has no vision in her right eye and very limited sight in the left, but she has not let her diagnosis stop her from achieving her goals.
Terri was a long-time, respected elementary school teacher when she began experiencing vision loss. After her diagnosis, her main goal was to keep her job and to continue to work until she reached 30 years of service. Her eye doctor recommended she come to CVI where she worked with our instructors on orientation and mobility (O&M) and computer skills to teach her new ways of doing the tasks her job required. With the training and support provided at CVI, Terri accomplished her goal—she retired after her 30th year of teaching.
Terri says CVI was truly a lifesaver. “[CVI] showed me that I could still work. I could still take care of my children. I could still be independent.” She went on, “Had it not been for CVI, I don’t know what I would’ve done. They taught me the skills I needed to be able to work until I could retire with all of my benefits. That’s why I’m so grateful to CVI.”
Since retiring, Terri has remained involved in CVI’s community as a member of our Women of Worth support group. As someone who always loved her career, finding a community to be involved with was crucial for Terri when she retired. She shared, “[Support group] has given me the confidence and independence I need in order to go on with my new life.”
We honor Terri’s journey in recognition of National Diabetes Month. If you or someone you know needs help in their journey with vision loss, please contact CVI at 404-875-9011 or visit our website here.