As a child, I dealt with vision problems growing up. I always visited the ophthalmologist as scheduled and was always told to wear reading glasses. As I entered my teens, I began to have a droopy lid and by the time I was twenty years old my right pupil did not dilate. My vision problems seem to increase as I got older. I was diagnosed with a brain tumor on my right optic nerve just two years later. After weeks of testing my tumor was benign and I was advised to begin gamma knife treatment. The Gamma Knife procedure was successful. After the procedure, I was diagnosed with Strabismus and Amblyopia.
Now having lived with this condition for so many years, I do know firsthand the misconception of the condition. I have dealt with self-esteem issues myself with having strabismus. I tend to get a lot of probing stares that make you feel uncomfortable and sometimes questions from children who don’t understand why are your eye's different. I started to think “how anyone can love a person who looks like me”. It was very difficult for me to look people in their eye's, because I was so afraid of the judgment. Today, I continue to do research about my condition so I can help myself and others.
Thanks to my doctors, teachers, family members and friends I was able to see what they saw and see how beautiful I was beyond my eyes. Now that I’m a mother, I find my strength and encouragement in my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
I establish the Your Eye Are Your Heart Foundation (Yeah) to assist families who face the same challenges I have with the a brain tumor, strabismus and amblyopia. I believe through research and fundraising we can make a big difference in people lives. We will focus on treatment, vision therapy and self-esteem programs for youth and adults that have to deal with the probing stares and questions about strabismus and amblyopia.