The Blind Life

Sierra Ostergaard, Reporter

The term blind usually scares people. They think that being blind limits the individual to the point that they have to help them with everything. They think they have to treat the person differently, but, in reality, people who are blind are the same as any other person.

A lot of society thinks that blind people have to be treated completely different or not associated with at all. For starters, many people feel the need to either move far away from a blind person as they are walking or they feel the need to defend their space and make their presence known. There are people in this school that face these facts without their  eyesight.

One of these students is sophomore Chehala Moore, who has been going blind, due to her family’s hereditary disease retinitis pigmentosa, since she was in first grade. In regards to her eyesight, she says, “For me it’s like looking through a tunnel that you can’t see the end of.”

Chehala does not stand alone in this. Senior Marely Passey has been blind her whole life. She has never experienced the world in the same way as the rest of us, however she says, “I’ve learned to cope with it. Everyday life is almost like every other person on the planet, but there are some things that I know I can’t do”.

Nathan Ostergaard and Chehala face the reality of losing their sight over time. Mr. Ostergaard is a blind veteran who lost his eyesight to RP as well. He has been losing his eyesight slowly his whole life, but mainly since 2003, even with the help of surgery.

It is easy to learn how being blind really affects someone’s life. Being blind is a challenge, however, it is not a limit. Chehala says “People always think that you can’t do a lot of the things I can do”.

Nathan is a brown belt in Judo, who fought in pan olympics, state, and national levels. Chehala is a determined dancer, a devoted ROTC member, and has participated in the Junior Blind Olympics. Marely is highly involved in engineering at the Granite Technical Institute,  along with being in a carbon composites class at the GTI. The carbon composites class is a very visual class and yet because of the help from her teachers Marely is able to stay and enjoy the class.

Being blind is difficult, but it does not affect the blind as individuals. They are just like the rest of us. We all have our own challenges, their challenge just happens to be with the effect of their eyesight. Marely says it as, “I can’t experience the world as well as a sighted person, but I get to meet so many neat people [through organizations for the blind]”. The same is for all who are blind and sighted alike. No one experiences the world in the same way but we all have the opportunity to meet amazing people.

Chehala says in the view of limits, “I don’t think there are any limits…I try not to limit myself at all”.