Learning to Cope
Louise Stowers and her husband owned a dairy farm in Kirkland, Indiana, where they raised their three sons and had a good life. After 27 years of farming, Louise chose to find work off the farm. She became a successful trainer and motivational speaker for a national franchise, helping them open businesses nationwide. Sadly, she lost her husband in 2009 but she still had her work and a purpose.
One morning in 2014, she woke up and realized she couldn't see out of her left eye. She was diagnosed with wet macular and went through a series of shots to keep it from getting worse. A few months later, the same thing started in her right eye. Catching it early helped but she still suffers center vision loss in both eyes.
"All the doctors/specialists do is tell you what you have and what treatment you need. They don't tell you how to cope with something so life-altering, or where to go for help. I was on my own,” Louise said.
But, then fate stepped in. Louise was lonely and decided to get a puppy. Dolly was a lovable Australian Shepherd in need of professional training, so Louise called in a trainer who just happened to be the daughter of a woman who works for Bosma’s Community Based Services.
The connection was made and the rest is history.
Jill, a Bosma counselor, came into Louise's home and life at just the right time and opened her eyes to so many possibilities and assistive aids. She and Amy, also with Bosma, taught Louise how to use oven "buttons," get recorded books from the State Library, read with magnifier lights, adapt her phone, and more.
“For two-and-a-half years, I was in denial about what was happening to my vision. Jill and Amy helped me see what was possible. They were so gracious, kind, and caring. You can’t put a value on what they gave me."
"I invited Jill to speak to my Extension Homemakers Club to let people know the work Bosma does for people experiencing vision loss and know several people from the club who have contacted Bosma."
“I spread the word about Bosma and give their phone number to anyone who wants it. Maybe that’s my new purpose. Today, I feel better about my life. In fact, I’m up to walking two miles a day!” Louise said.
Not bad at age 84.
If it's to be, it's up to me. - Louise Stowers