By Mariana Valdez
Can you imagine what it would be like if we didn’t have one of our senses; never seeing a person, never tasting a pizza or never hearing the voice of your loved ones? What if you knew you were losing one of your senses but couldn’t do anything to stop it?
This is the reality for senior Lindsay Cardona. Cardona wasn’t born blind, but was diagnosed last August with Stargardt’s disease.
According to the All About Vision website, “Stargardt’s generally refers to a group of inherited diseases causing light-sensitive cells in the inner back of the eye (retina) to deteriorate, particularly in the area of the macula where fine focusing occurs. Central vision loss also occurs, while peripheral vision usually is retained.”
Last year, when she started losing her eyesight, she thought it was normal and that she would only need glasses to fix the problem. But as time went on, her vision continued to worsen. When she finally went to the doctor, he told her that she was losing her eyesight.
“The first thing that jumped into my mind was, ‘What’s going to be the last thing I’m going to be able to see?’” said Cardona.
Cardona said that at first it was hard to accept that she would eventually never be able to see again. Her inspiration is senior Robert Quinonez, in the school’s virtual program who is battling cancer. Despite losing his vision to cancer, “he still looks forward [to] every day,” Cardona said. “He helped me realize we are going though this battle, so others don’t have to.”
With time and the support of her friends, she realized how much stronger this experience would make her.
“I will not let my disability shape me to what I can’t become.”