I want to Talk about a reality … of the blind regaining vision. Not a fantasy, but new science that is funded by The Foundation Fighting Blindness. The FFB’s LA VisionWalk will take place in Griffith Park on the morning of Oct. 26. Leading the Walk will be my stepson, Adam Lawrence and his wife Sheri, along with Escort, his beautiful and dutiful Guide Dog.
ABOUT ADAM: Early on, in my reuniting with David, I first met Adam at a little Thai place. It was at an awkward meet-the-kids dinner. With little warning, I was being thrust onto David’s family while they were deeply mourning the loss of their mother. Hard to believe it was 14 years ago. Adam was in a booth facing the glaring, setting sun, and even with his dark glasses, he was painfully squinting. I had not been told of Adam’s RP, Retinitis Pigmentosa, a chronic eye disease with gradual degeneration of the retina.
While I slowly, but very surely, became at one with this special family, I watched the RP slowly rob Adam of this sight … until the total darkness came.
FAST FORWARD: There is hope to see the light again. So this column is more than my yearly harping for help. This is a genuine opportunity towards stopping blindness. Miraculous times! Walking with us would be wonderful. Standing with us makes you a most welcome Team member. Join on their website: fightblindness.org/goto/ adamssightedguides.
Are you game to show up? Follow the VisionWalk signs! The location is at the picnic shelter behind the Ranger Station (Address: 4730 Crystal Springs Dr.)
Registration: starts at 9 a.m., presentation at 10, and the walk (our own NBC4 Southern California is a sponsor) starts at 10:15.
PARTYING: This is no walk-in-the-park-and-go-home. At 11:30, it’s party time! There’s Barbeque, live music, a silent auction, prizes! A special celebration of the new possibilities. And you will meet Escort … and Adam.
MORE ABOUT ADAM: Adam is a most amazing person, not as a blind person, but a caring, capable, responsible, fun, and kind man. When I first met him, although his RP was moving rapidly, he worked as a Banker, drove to work, and managed quite well. Time came when he had to stop driving, stop working, and start learning the skills needed for the blind. He aced the white cane, and had an instructor help him learn Braille and the technological tools that help him take care of life. Then one year, at a VisionWalk, Adam caressed a puppy at the Guide Dogs of America’s booth. He applied for a Guide Dog that day. Enter Escort.
While his wife Sheri is at work (The President of Tylie Jones & Associates in Burbank), Adam (and Escort) maintains the house, does all the financials and trip planning, and he and Escort help babysit puppies and grown guide dogs from Guide Dogs of America, when their caretakers have the need. He checks in on his Dad and me almost daily, just making sure that “everything is hunky-dory.” Adam’s learned to get the most from Suri and has taught me how to work my iPhone. He’s also a pretty fine cook, and he and Sheri dance to some mean rock and roll.
So, this year, Adam has taken the lead for VISIONWALK in Los Angeles, with a fresh energy and a realistic feeling that his sight may be improved greatly. It would be very nice for him not to worry about bumping into walls, furniture, or people, and to have a clue where things are. The science, funded by your past generosity, has resulted in success stories and many different paths to cure blindness. Time for new generosity.
This is an awkward column to write, but here it is, from the heart and I thank you in advance for any donation, and for reading this whole spiel. With giant gratitude …