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Transforming Her Reality

Bosma Enterprises - 12/28/2018 2:26:19 PM

Follow Brandy Gregory through her journey at the Bosma Enterprises Center for Visionary Solutions for the Blind.

Imagine being on your job for 25 years and raising two young children, then suddenly you begin going
blind. What would you do? Would you tell your employer or pretend everything is okay? Well for
current rehabilitation client Brandy Gregory, this was her reality. For the next few months, we will follow
her journey and evolvement as she learns the necessary skills to live independently as a woman who is
blind.

Brandy began having sudden episodes of vision loss at seventeen-years-old. Scared, to say the least, she
continued with life, but at 22, the sudden instances of vision loss reoccurred. Realizing this was not
normal, Brandy decided to have her eyes examined. After her examination, her eye doctor still could not
figure out why she was having these episodes of sudden blindness. He then recommended Brandy visit a
Neuro specialist, who eventually diagnosed her with neuroretinitis - a focal inflammation of the optic
nerve causing blurred and decreased vision. When she has an episode, she loses sight for some time
and ultimately loses more of her vision each time. “Once it is over I lose more and more vision,” said
Brandy.

Throughout the years Brandy continued to have these reoccurring episodes of sudden vision loss.
However, it did not stop her from working and taking care of her children. She continued to work as an
accountant. “My company was great at providing me with accommodations,” Brandy.
They provided her with a large computer monitor, magnifiers to help her complete her work. Due to the
continuous decrease in her vision, she ultimately resigned in 2017.

Unsure about her future, Brandy did not know where to turn for help. Thankfully, her aunt happened to
see a commercial for Bosma Enterprises on television. She quickly told Brandy about what she had seen,
and Brandy was intrigued. Brandy wanted to find out how Bosma could help her live with her visual
impairment.

After speaking with Kurt Deichman, rehabilitation manager, she felt at ease. Kurt was accommodating
and guided her through the steps needed to enroll in our rehab center. “He was wonderful,” said
Brandy.

October 16, 2018, was supposed to be Brandy’s first day at Bosma Enterprises Center for Visionary
Solutions for the Blind. However, when her driver arrived, Brandy’s nerves got the best of her, and she
called in sick. Embarrassed and ashamed she felt she let herself and children down. Unknown to Brandy,
this has happened before. The next day, a Bosma employee picked her up and made her feel at ease.
During her first week, she spent time getting familiar with the rehab center, instructors and other
clients. After her first day, Brandy knew she made the right decision.

Brandy is now taking advantage of all the training Bosma has to offer. Since she has been in rehab, she is
learning how to use tools safely in our manual skills lab, orientation and mobility (O&M), braille,
personal management and learning about assistive technology. Bosma has also helped her get back into
one of her favorite hobbies, reading. She is now able to order books through the Talking Book Program
and has completed the first level of braille training.

Although Brandy has only been here for seven weeks, she has regained some of her confidence, and
with that renewed confidence. She has taken back up one of her favorite hobbies, walking. She is now
able to walk around her neighborhood safely using her white cane, which may seem like a small

accomplishment to some, but for Brandy, being able to walk around her block was something she
yearned for the past year.

Although Brandy has more to learn and overcome, she feels she is becoming herself again. The training
she acquired thus far has given her a renewed confidence, something her friends and family members
have noticed since she has been at Bosma Enterprises. Stay tuned to see what other hurdles Brandy
overcomes in the next couple of weeks.