For most of my life I have been dealing with what I would call “a bit of a vision problem”. Put more specifically I have had a rather aggressive case of Keratoconus (or KC). KC is a progressive thinning of corneal tissue resulting in some pretty bad vision distortions. For most people with KC the condition is rather mild, in fact glasses and contacts tend to be sufficient to restore people to usable functional vision. In my particular situation, the condition has been rather aggressive and has been a source of acute difficulty and heartache.
I was diagnosed with the disease when I was 11 years old and spent several years in the visually impaired program with the knowledge that I would perhaps spend the majority of my adult life functionally blind. I was learning Braille, received all my text books on tape and for quite a while felt rather helpless. I have had 5 surgeries including a corneal transplant and until recently was legally blind in the transplanted eye. Not the outcome I had hoped for, but certainly one that I have been anticipating since I was little.
Following my transplant I decided to help create some images that could more easily convey the visual experience of KC. Working with a fellow KCer (Elio Spinello) we put together the KCvision website. A few years later The National Keratoconus Foundation (www.nkcf.org) requested to use the images in their informational materials (commence pat on back). I also was recently able to locate a new CLF (Contact Lens Fitter) who could sculpt a lens that gave me back 20/25 vision in both eyes.