Monday, September 8, 2008

Loving Life

All parents want their children to have good adult role models. But finding such a person for a child that has a low incidence disability, such as deafblindness, is extremely difficult. Ashley knows some adults who are deaf, and some other adults who are blind, but in the 11 years she has been my daughter, I have never met a deafblind adult that I believed would be a good role model.

I want to find a deafblind adult who is happy - who does not linger in self-pity - one who feels she or he has been successful in life, in whatever way they define success - and one who has proven that deafblindness is not a sentence to an isolated life.

A friend of mine sent me a link to a newspaper story about a woman who is deaflind. Interestingly, this woman lives about an hour away from us. Nancy Brown, who is 65 years old, was born deaf and has gradually lost her sight. Nancy has Ushers Syndrome. But Nancy also has something else - a zest for life and a drive for independence. The last line of the article sums it up well. Nancy said:

"I love my life so much that I could not hate myself for what I am," she typed. "I am deaf and blind. Why should I hate myself?"

I think you will enjoy reading about Nancy as much as I did!


Anonymous said...

Wow, that's a really good post, Deborah! I'm sure many will appreciate knowing about Nancy Brown - just like I have.

Just last weekend I was rearranging books and came across of my copy of Helen Keller's "The Story of My Life". I thought of Ashley when I saw it. Where, oh, where is someone like Anne Sullivan?

Anonymous said...

Wow. This is wonderful. I so hope you can get her information and go meet her with Ashley. That would be incredible.

rickismom said...

Love that quote!

Rachel said...

I don't know where you live, but I wish you knew my two deafblind great aunts.

They are both incredibly independent. They've recently retired from working for Boeing (making airplane parts, no less).

They are intelligent, engaging, witty, and fun. They are terrific role models (I am a young deaf adult). They live in Seattle.

Thanks for sharing your story!