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.

Sharon Donovan
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.


  1. Mary Marvella // August 6, 2009 at 11:46 PM  

    Sharon, you rock! You remind me how fortunate I am. Thanks for sharing your story.

    Mary Marvella, blog mama here.

  2. Scarlet Pumpernickel // August 6, 2009 at 11:47 PM  

    Sharon, welcome to the pink fuzzies. You story is so inspirational! How strong and couragous you are. It is an honor to have you visit with us.

  3. Mary Ricksen // August 7, 2009 at 12:00 AM  

    She blows me away.

  4. Margaret Tanner // August 7, 2009 at 5:50 AM  

    Hi Sharon,
    You are a legend, you really are. Your story is uplifitng and inspiring.
    Bet wishes

  5. Sharon Donovan // August 7, 2009 at 5:53 AM  

    Hello! It's a pleasure to be with The Pink Fuzzy Slipper today. I'd like to thank Mary Ricksen for inviting me to be a guest. Thank you Mary! Scarlet and Mary, your lovely words inspire me. Thank you so very much.

  6. Sharon Donovan // August 7, 2009 at 5:57 AM  

    Hi Margaret. Thank you for dropping by and for your warm regards.

  7. Larry Hammersley // August 7, 2009 at 7:58 AM  

    Sharon: I never get tired of reading your inspirational words. I always take note when I see your name on these groups. Please continue to be a presence. We all need you. Larry

  8. Miss Mae // August 7, 2009 at 7:59 AM  

    Your story needs to become a movie! Well, why in the world couldn't it be produced on the Women's Network Channel?

    Sharon, you've walked through that dark valley and boldly fought your way through to the other side. My hat's off to you, dear friend! :)

    Here's hoping you have a grand day.

  9. Autumn Jordon // August 7, 2009 at 8:35 AM  

    Sharon, You are a lesson in humility and courage. I appreciate your efforts to help with diabetes. I've lost several members of my family, including a cousin who like you lost her sight when she was just twenty-one and my first husband.

    I will definitley help you in your cause.


  10. Beth Trissel // August 7, 2009 at 8:41 AM  

    Sharon, welcome to the Pink Fuzzies. It is an honor to have you. I so enjoyed reading your post and found it so inspiring. Your courage is amazing. Your talent is remarkable. You totally rock.

  11. Sharon Donovan // August 7, 2009 at 8:51 AM  

    Hi Larry. Thank you so much for dropping by. You say the sweetest things and have no idea how much your words encourage me. You are our romantic hero, writing all those romance novels. Keep them coming, my dear! We love hearing from a man's pov!

  12. Bryn // August 7, 2009 at 9:03 AM  

    Wow! Great story! Thank you so much for sharing! It really inspired me today.

  13. Sharon Donovan // August 7, 2009 at 9:07 AM  

    Hey Miss Mae. Oh my--a movie! You make me blush! Thank you for your continuous support and encouragement. Without friends like you, my world would be a much darker place. You have a grand day, too!

  14. Sharon Donovan // August 7, 2009 at 9:17 AM  

    Hi Autumn. Thank you for your support and kind words. Yes it is time to end this world-wide epidemic, isn't it? I'm sorry for your losses and will continue to hold hope for tomorrow.
    Beth, thanks so much for your inspiring words. And thank you for helping Mary do such a fine job with this post. I appreciate it so very much. Blyn, thank you for your sweet words. Have a lovely day.

  15. Jianne Carlo // August 7, 2009 at 9:21 AM  

    What a wonderful tale. Congratulations Sharon on defeating so many enemies all at once. You inspire everyone!


  16. Beth Trissel // August 7, 2009 at 10:18 AM  

    Did I mention how much you inspire me, Sharon? :))))

  17. Judy // August 7, 2009 at 10:24 AM  

    Sharon, your story is inspiring to all of us and makes me appreciate my sight more than ever! We're so pleased to have you with us! The strength of the human spirit is awesome!

  18. Sharon Donovan // August 7, 2009 at 11:21 AM  

    Hello Jianne. What lovely words. Thank you so much for commenting.
    Thank you, Beth. Yes, your words shine through with a brilliant smile!
    Hi Judy. It's an honor to be a guest with you ladies today at the PFS. I love this blog. Thank you so much for the warm welcome.

  19. housemouse88 // August 7, 2009 at 12:03 PM  

    Hello Sharon,

    Your story is an inspiration for us all. Have a great day.

  20. Sharon Donovan // August 7, 2009 at 12:29 PM  

    Housemouse, what a cool name! I love it. Thank you so much for your kind words.

  21. Laurean Brooks // August 7, 2009 at 12:47 PM  

    Hey Sharon,

    Mis Mae and Larry are both right. The book should be made into a movie. And your words and life inspire everyone. I've read only a few pages, but wow! Echo of a Raven is next on my TBR list.

    I admire you for stepping forward to help the Diabetes Foundation. What fortitude and compassion.

    So happy to call you my friend. God bless you in all your endeavors.


    Laurean's Lore

  22. Mary Ricksen // August 7, 2009 at 12:53 PM  

    Sharon, you're something else!
    Inspiration is such a tame word. More like we all should emulate your courage. Thanks for blogging today!

  23. Hywela Lyn // August 7, 2009 at 1:21 PM  

    Hi Sharon, Mary and everyone at the pink fuzzies. Sorry I'm late as usual. It's been a bit of a topsy turvy day, somehow and I'm just catching up.

    As everyone else has said, Sharon, my sweet friend, you are an inspiration and you make me very humble. Your talent and courage make me count my blessings.

  24. Sharon Donovan // August 7, 2009 at 1:43 PM  

    Laurie, my dear friend. Thank you for your endless support and friendship. I lost my vision, but through God and modern technology, I gained so many friends. Without this adaptive software, none of this would be possible. And without my friends an my writing, where would I be? You are all gifts.
    Mary, there is a quote that comes to mind. To paraphrase, when long speeches fail to echo the words of your heart, a simple thank you will do. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
    Lyn, there you are. Another one of my biggest supporters and lovely friends I am fortunate enough to know through cyber space and adaptive software. As I've said to all, you are all treasures that I wouldn't trade in for the world.

  25. Ilona Fridl // August 7, 2009 at 2:27 PM  

    You are truly inspiring. Great good luck to you!

  26. Sharon Donovan // August 7, 2009 at 3:22 PM  

    Hi Ilona. Your words are lovely. Thank you so much for your warm wishes.

  27. Cate Masters // August 7, 2009 at 3:27 PM  

    Great post! You are a true inspiration, Sharon.

  28. Nightingale // August 7, 2009 at 5:01 PM  

    We all know someone with diabetes, I think, but perhaps not the claims the disease makes. Your post was very moving, Sharon.

  29. Jennifer Ross // August 7, 2009 at 5:14 PM  

    An eye-opening blog post. Thanks for sharing your story with us, Sharon.

  30. Sharon Donovan // August 7, 2009 at 5:30 PM  

    Thank you for your lovely words, Cate. And thanks for stopping by.
    Linda, you are so right. Diabetes knows no boundaries, touching lives of every day people, celebrities and sports players. The complications are devastating and it's time to find a cure. Thank you for your inspiring words.

  31. Mary Ricksen // August 7, 2009 at 5:36 PM  

    Now for the big surprise. One because I didn't mention it before and two because it is a big one. Sharon has graciously decided to give a copy of her book to one lucky blogger. So aren't you glad you commented!

  32. Mona Risk // August 7, 2009 at 5:55 PM  

    Sharon, I think I had the pleasure of reading your post a month ago. It gave me the boost I needed to deal with my own problems. You are an inspiration of courage and perseverance.

  33. Sharon Donovan // August 7, 2009 at 5:57 PM  

    Hi Jennifer. Diabetes can affect multiple organs and the eyes are generally hit the hardest. Here's hoping for the cure!


  34. TVS // August 7, 2009 at 6:17 PM  

    Bravo, Sharon! You're one of the bravest people I know. Being pre-diabetic and now with cataracts and migraines which affect my vision, I've suffered temporary loss of sight but it's always returned. I marvel at your strength.

  35. Sharon Donovan // August 7, 2009 at 6:20 PM  

    Thank you, Mona. That is the goal of my book, the message I hope to share with readers. There is always light at the end of a tunnel. We only have one life to live and have to make every day count. God bless you and may the luck of the Irish be with you.

  36. Sharon Donovan // August 7, 2009 at 6:35 PM  

    Keep the faith, TVS. When vision dims and comes back, it makes you realize what you have all the more. Hang in there, my dear! Your words inspire me more than you know.


  37. LORETTA CANTON // August 7, 2009 at 6:36 PM  

    Sharon,I salute you. You are a person that I can so easy look up to.
    Good luck and take care.


  38. Sharon Donovan // August 7, 2009 at 6:48 PM  

    Thank you, Loretta. Your words make me blush. My hope is that no child should live in fear of losing his or her vision through diabetes or any other eye disease. That is my dream. All good things,

  39. Skhye // August 7, 2009 at 7:21 PM  

    As always, Sharon, you make me stop and think I've sure got it easy. I'm off to read about that novel.

  40. Emma Lai // August 7, 2009 at 8:44 PM  

    Sharon...you are a continual inspiration and JDRF is an excellent charity.

  41. lastnerve // August 7, 2009 at 8:49 PM  

    Sharon, you are one author who is more than an author to me. You have inspired so many so much further than just outstretched hands! You work is amazing and Echo of A Raven was one of the best books that I have read. I learned so much more and have such a better understanding of diabetes now. Don't enter me in the contest because I think I have every book you've published but I just had to stop by and say you are a true friend as well as an inspiration! ROCK ON!


  42. Anonymous // August 7, 2009 at 9:01 PM  

    Thank you for sharing your true, heart-breaking but inspirational story. You're a strong woman and one to be admired!
    Patrice Wilton

  43. Karen Michelle Nutt // August 8, 2009 at 12:08 AM  

    What an inspirational story. I so glad I had a chance to catch you post.

    Thank you for sharing.

  44. Sharon Donovan // August 8, 2009 at 4:22 AM  

    Skhye. Your words inspire me and I stand in awe to be among so many talents. You are all gifts to me. Thank you so much for your endless support.

    Emma Lai, thank you for your kind words. Without hope, inspiration would not exist.

  45. Sharon Donovan // August 8, 2009 at 4:29 AM  

    Val, my sweet friend. Thank you so much for your endless support and encouragement. You have no idea what a special person you are, inspiring so many writers with your uplifting words. I know diabetes runs in your family and we will continue to hope and pray for the cure. Let me echo your words. You rock woman!

  46. Sharon Donovan // August 8, 2009 at 4:38 AM  

    Hi Patrice. Thank you so much for your comforting words. I feel so honored to be with you all today. My hope is that my book will raise awareness of diabetes and help JDRF in their fight for a cure.

    Thank you so much for your kind and uplifting words. We all face challenges and when they come along, we learn what we are made of. Never give up on a dream.

  47. Sharon Donovan // August 8, 2009 at 7:04 PM  

    I would like to extend a warm thank you to The Pink Fuzzy Slipper for your gracious hospitality. A special thank you to Mary Ricksen for inviting me and to Beth Trissel for helping Mary post my article. You ladies rock! It was indeed an honor and all the comments left footprints on my heart.
    As promised, it's time to announce the winner of an autographed copy of Echo of a Raven. And the winner is...Autumn Jordon. Congratulations, Autumn!
    May the luck of the Irish be with each and every one of you on your journey through life.

    Love and Blessings,


  48. Pamela Varnado // August 8, 2009 at 7:13 PM  

    I was so inspired and touched by your story. Though not to the extend that you have, I myself have faced challenges in life. When that happens you have two choices--you can fight or you can give up on your hopes and dreams. Like you, I chose to hang in there, and boy am I glad. Every day is a day filled with challenges that only make me a stronger person.

  49. Sharon Donovan // August 8, 2009 at 8:23 PM  

    Pamela, What a remarkable attitude. To the Three Cs. Challenges. Choices. And Champions. Here here! Never give up on a dream.


  50. Joanne // August 9, 2009 at 9:43 AM  

    What a wonderful, inspiring story.
    Thanks so much for sharing.

  51. Sharon Donovan // August 10, 2009 at 6:50 AM  

    Hi Joanne. Thanks so much for commenting. It was my pleasure to be here at the PFS.


  52. Julie Robinson // August 10, 2009 at 3:14 PM  

    Hi Sharon,

    Went to your site and saw you were here. Glad to see you on this wonderful site. I'm excited to tell you that Echo of a Raven has arrived in the mail. Also I agree with Miss Mae about the movie! Inspirational lives such as yours need to be shown.


  53. Sharon Donovan // August 11, 2009 at 6:36 PM  

    Hi Julie! Always so nice to chat with you. Thank you so much for your inspiring words and for buying Echo of a Raven. On behalf of the JDRF, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. You are the best!


  54. Julie Robinson // August 11, 2009 at 9:28 PM  

    Congrats Autumn J.!!