Jamie Wade is a recent graduate of the Foundations of Adjustment to Blindness (FAB) class, the JEMMS. The group named itself after the first initial of each classmate, and the name stands for joyful, eating, musical, and miracles.
Jamie began losing her vision due to diabetic retinopathy in 2008 and was slowly losing it until late 2012 when her doctor suggested a surgery that could help. Unfortunately, the surgery worsened her vision, and as a result Jamie now has limited light perception.
Prior to FAB and being introduced to CLB, Jamie was a little angry, a little depressed, and apprehensive about life and raising her 3 year old daughter Skyler. Jamie couldn’t leave the house without assistance and didn’t want to use a white cane because of the embarrassment of allowing others to know she is visually impaired. Last August, Jamie decided she had to take care of her daughter so she couldn’t keep looking to the past but needed to look to the future.
Participating in FAB was a life changing experience for Jamie as it put her at ease with her new disability, that it wasn’t a barrier in living a full and happy life. Jamie cherished the orientation and mobility lessons with her new white cane, while it was of course challenging, within two days she was able to get from the car, down her walkway, up the stairs, and in the front door independently. The number one lesson Jamie took away from FAB is that she is not alone in her journey, others are in a similar situation to her in regards to vision loss, and there are support networks in place such as CLB.
After FAB, Jamie has already started assistive technology training in preparation for going back to college to finish her degree in vocal music performance as well as adding a second major in English and a minor in theater arts. Once she is fully trained on the assistive technology and software that she would need to use in school, she will begin applying at local colleges.
Aside from business, Jamie is involved with is a friend’s catering business, a hobby she abandoned after her vision loss. With the cooking lessons learned from FAB, Jamie is ready to get back in the kitchen and return to part time catering as well as cooking for herself and her family. Jamie ultimately wants to be a teacher for young children, and was previously a child care aide before losing her vision. Whether it is music, theater, or English literature, Jamie aspires to share her gift of these topics with children of all ages.
Jamie is in the best spirits of her life. Her depression is gone, she is ready to go out and live the rest of her life. We don’t disagree so don’t be surprised if you see Jamie around town with her husband and daughter.