Client Stories

Bob Johnson

By January 2011 I had lost practical use of my left eye to Macular Degeneration, so was totally dependent on my right eye for activities such as driving, reading and writing. In mid-January my good eye lost all vision to a rare fungal infection which had destroyed the cornea. It took 18 months to kill the infection, after which I required a cornea transplant. Then it took almost two years, removing sutures and waiting for scar tissue to heal, before I could be fitted with a special contact lens. During that period the BVIC (Blind & Visually Impaired Center) made it possible to live alone (My wife of 51 years had passed away in 2007). They gave me tips on how to handle simple tasks which suddenly seemed impossible and lent me magnifying glasses, including an electronic magnifier called the Ruby Freedom at no charge. This support enabled me to live a relatively normal life and I was able to continue all the activities I was involved in. I still serve on a management committee at Sonoma State University, helping manage a large property near the campus, which was given to the university by my father-in-law for research and education. I also have been active with our local university since 2006 when I endowed a scholarship in my mother’s name, primarily targeting students who are the first in their family to attend college. Without the support of BVIC, I doubt that I could have continued those activities.