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By Teresa Horner and Michael Byington

This is Michael writing first. Teresa will be surprised when she sees this byline, because she did not know she was writing an article jointly with me. I want to share some excerpts, however, from the “CKAVI Newsletter.” The paragraphs below were written by Teresa Horner, CKAVI President. To my thinking, her article represents everything a local support group/chapter should be. I am so proud and moved that these good people choose to align themselves with KABVI’s efforts. I know that all of our local support groups and chapters here in Kansas do similar things, but I was particularly moved by how well Teresa expresses some universal thoughts about support, and about the skillful blending of blindness techniques and low vision techniques to create a productive and fulfilling lifestyle. I have thus stolen her words from the “CKAVI Newsletter,” so that they may be reprinted here.

“I write this note today to encourage those unable or those who have not yet come to a meeting to come to our next meeting. Spring is our active time and the President and new members have brought new ideas to our organization. We need you to share your ideas with us! Perhaps some of you may be like me, I lost my sight overnight. Losing my vision took away all the things I thought were important to me: sewing, crocheting, embroidering, painting and most important, reading to our grandchildren and watching them participate in their sporting activities. Although I had the support of my husband, children and their families, I struggled for more than a year with my vision loss.

I finally went to an outreach program where I met other vision impaired people - some of whose conditions were worse than mine. Sisters Camillus and Corona asked me to hold an office in our organization. Don Matthews had previously told us about CKAVI meetings, however, I was afraid of the unknown until I finally went to a meeting. That meeting changed my life. The companionship, the things we learn and do can help others. I strongly urge you to ”try it, you’ll like it!”

I lease a machine without charge from CKAVI. With the help of this machine, I can now write instead of print and I’m happy to report I’m able to crochet by feeling the stitches! The organization has helped me understand others who are fighting illness such as my husband, Ralph. Ralph is in his 5th year of cancer and is holding on.

Our meetings have informative speakers, picnics and of course, our annual Christmas party. Sr. Corona provides tasty refreshments and there’s always plenty of time after the meetings for visiting.

I truly believe that God has a purpose and plan for each of us. Come and hear how many have coped with their vision loss. We have a great need for sighted people and your family can help in that capacity…. “


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