Thanks to VisionCorps, I’m living my birthday every day

Tags: Adult, All Ages, Awareness/Education, Legal Blindness

In 2016, Reggie Taylor had a near-death experience, and it profoundly changed his perspective on life. He was the victim of gun violence that left him without sight and sent him into a downward emotional spiral. He credits VisionCorps with helping him get his life back on track.

“I went through a whole lot,” Reggie said. “After I lost my eyes, I didn’t feel whole. I didn’t feel independent. But I’m here, and now, it’s like I’m living my birthday every day!”

Getting around safely is a long-term goal. “I take everything one step at a time,” Reggie said. “I go for walks by myself with my white cane.” He uses landmarks such as bushes, divots in the sidewalk, or the sound of chimes to orient himself. When he makes a mistake, he regards it as an adventure.

“I took out the trash yesterday, and my feet didn’t feel the slope. I got turned around, and had to use my cane to get back.” But he’s glad to have solved the problem independently.

Reggie works at improving his skills every day. “The more you stay busy, the better you sleep at night,” he said. He lifts weights and rides his stationary bike. He’s learning to read braille and listens to audiobooks. But he’s happy to let his family do the cooking sometimes.

“I just sit back and chill.”

Navigating life without sight is challenging, but rewarding. Reggie is especially grateful to have found a resourceful community through VisionCorps peer support groups. “It’s helped me so much; it’s unbelievable. It’s changed my attitude, because before, I didn’t feel I had anybody I could really talk to. We learn so much from each other.”

“I just take it one day at a time and keep laughing and smiling all the way,” Reggie said. “Nothing is worse than what I’ve already been through. When you come out the other side, you realize that life is more important than anything!”

Originally published in Insights Newsletter, Spring/Summer 2022 by VisionCorps