Welcome to Sharon Donovan. Sharon is unique, there's nothing average about her. I have the privilege of letting her tell you why she is so amazing. May we all have half your heart.
JDRF to benefit from sale of Echo of a Raven
With America in the lead at 20.8 million, there are more than 230 million diabetics in the world and the number is rapidly increasing. More than half of these diabetics will develop some stage of retinopathy during his or her lifetime. This condition causes fragile blood vessels to grow and rupture in the back of the eye and can lead to progressive blindness.
I began hearing the frightening phrase diabetic retinopathy at the age of six when I was diagnosed as a type 1 diabetic. During a routine visit to Children’s Hospital when I was twelve, a doctor predicted I would be blind by time I was twenty-five. His harsh words echoed in my head to the point of obsession, affecting every major decision I made for years to come. But even though these words haunted my subconscious, I never spoke them aloud. Then they might come true.
The closer I got to twenty-five, the tighter the noose around my neck, sucking the life out of me like a garrotte. I worked as a legal secretary at the Court of Common Pleas where I prepared cases for judges in Family Court. But painting was my passion. I spent my weekends painting picturesque scenery, the ruins of ancient Rome and reflections on the water. Through my artwork, I escaped to a place of peace and tranquility. No more heartache. No more pain. But one day while painting a Tuscan landscape, I had the first bout of blindness. And for the next two decades, my vision came and went. Now you see it—now you don’t. And after a rocky road, nine years ago, I lost the battle, losing all hope and my will to live.
But through an organization for the blind and visually impaired, I found the courage to face a sighted world I was once part of. Some of the curriculum I endured for eight grueling hours every day for sixteen weeks was mobility training with a white cane, group therapy to deal with anger issues and the use of a computer with adaptive software. It was a heart-wrenching journey filled with endless challenge. Part of the reason I was reluctant to enroll in a program for the blind and visually impaired was because I thought clients would be uneducated. I was a professional, after all. What could I possibly have in common with “Those people?”
I was wrong. I met doctors and nurses, teachers and engineers, all with one common thread. We were all facing vision loss due to circumstances beyond our control. Some had the extra burden of facing a marital problem because a spouse could not or would not accept the blindness. We laughed and we cried. We connected in a way words could never express. I was one of the lucky ones. What didn’t kill me made me stronger. And after a long and winding road, a new dream resurrected. Today, instead of painting my pictures on canvas, I paint my pictures with words.
Echo of a Raven is a must read for diabetics, those facing a vision loss and for intelligent people who want to put an end to this world-wide epidemic. In my memoir, I give a prolific account of my stay at Pittsburgh Vision told from an insider’s point of view when institutionalized for sixteen weeks. Echo of a Raven is not for the weak at heart. But through my darkest hour, I found light at the end of a tunnel. Only when I reached out and asked for help did doors open. And doors have continued to open for me.
There is a plethora of opportunity for the blind and visually impaired. In my memoir, I give the names and addresses and websites for several organizations that have been invaluable to me. Please help me in my mission to find a cure for diabetes and its number one complication—blindness. If I can prevent one child from living in fear of losing his or her vision, Echo of a Raven will be a smashing success.
A portion of all proceeds of Echo of a Raven will be donated to JDRF Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation fight for a cure. I thank you for supporting my charity.
Echo of a Raven
Available in paperback and eBook
Visit my website:
or contact me at:
I think that there is nothing I can say that can top what Sharon has said. She makes me foolish when I feel sorry for myself. She inspires me to think I can do anything. She gives me hope that life will always go on and I will always survive my own trials. Because certainly she has survived hers.
Sharon is the kind of person I want to be.
Posted by Beth Trissel | 10:28 PM | blind, diabetes, inspirational, Sharon Donovan, tags-author, TWRP | 54 comments »