Bilateral childhood cataract does not deter this mum from living her life!
Visual impairment did not stop this brave mum from achieving her dreams. Read her story here.
When Anne was four months old, she was diagnosed with childhood cataract, a condition that would impair her vision for a long time. She was seven months old when she was operated for it. She still needs visual aids to achieve a vision of 6/60. However, the disability does not stop her from leading a full life!
Anne had a tough time in school. She liked the early years as the textbooks had bigger fonts. However, it all changed as she grew older. She had trouble seeing things properly, let alone read the finer fonts in the textbooks. A time came when her parents decided to send her to a school with support for Visually impaired (VI). However, they had to move, and she ended up being in another part of the UK.
She underwent a few more surgeries, particularly lens implants. However, the impaired vision did not help her in high school, where she was bullied for her disability. Rumours were spread about her sexual orientation and that kept her social life friendless.
She enrolled in a school for visually impaired when she was 16. She thought that here, things would be better. However, a boy at the school broke her heart, and she was devastated. This is quite a vulnerable age, and when she expected to make friends, all she got was loneliness.
Despite every difficulty, she did not lose hope. She enrolled in a university later. This was a good time for her, but equally challenging as she decided to study law. Despite her impairment, she managed to get good grades. She took up a job at a local law firm as a legal secretary.
But, she lived her life while all this was happening! She learnt how to ski, went river rafting, and also had an amazing experience tandem sky-diving – a gift her parents gave her as she turned 18. Anne considers herself lucky that she could go to university and has a job ever since.
She met her husband at a dating agency. They have been together for nine years now! She has two sons, and she is happy with her life. But just when she thought all was well, her youngest son was diagnosed with bilateral cataract, the condition that she took two decades to cope up with. However, she has faith that his life would be smoother than hers, with medical advances.
Lessons we can all learn from Anne
Anne had a tough childhood. Many of our children have a difficult childhood as well. They get into trouble, disagree with other kids and are bullied. However, the key to raise good kids is patience. Here are 4 life lessons that we can learn from Anne's story
- Teach kids to better themselves. Not every kid is alike. A few are good at academics, a few others are better at sports. Trust them to find their vocation and teach them to better themselves every day.
- Create a strong support system at home. Children are exposed to a lot of negativity these days. They are bullied, profiled and not included in a few groups for no good reason. They are subjected to misinformation as they search everything on internet rather than asking the parents for more information. Creating a support system where they can come to you and tell you everything they want without being ridiculed is very important.
- Enjoy the simple joys of life. Treasure the ice cream visits. Take them out to the zoo. But do that with your full commitment. That means, staying away from the phone for a while. Give them your full attention and see the difference in their behaviour.
- Tell them inspiring stories. Leaders are not born out of routine curriculum. They are forged in the tales of valour and compassion. Let them experience inspiration up close. When a child has something to look up to, he can ignore the distractions of bullying, or even disability.
Mums and dads, there is lot to learn from the tale of Anne, isn't there?
Stock images used for representation purpose.