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“There are so many great organizations out there waiting to help people who have lost their vision. I’m glad MindsEye makes a point of connecting listeners to them.” - Rita, retired accessibility instructor

Meet Jewell Boekenheide, a MindsEye listener and St. Louis resident. Jewell is vivacious and full of life. This is her story.

“[When I was young] I taught a rural school with all the grades. I even had to fire the stove every morning when I got there. I had an Aladdin lamp.”

The world has changed a lot since Jewell was a young woman, something she herself recognizes: “Of course that was a long time ago, [but when you get older you start] thinking back over what’s happened all these years.”

One of the biggest changes in Jewell’s life occurred in her adulthood. Like many people in the St. Louis area, she lost her sight as she aged.  She remembers, “When I left the doctor's office, the retinal specialist. . .he said, 'There's nothing more we can do. You don't have to come back anymore.' I left thinking, 'What am I going to do?'

Jewell was losing more sight each day. She was devastated by this news.  Unlike many people in our area with this diagnosis, Jewell was able to find help. That help was MindsEye.

A white-haired woman turns her gaze to the corner. She is wearing thick, yellow glasses.

"I got this radio from MindsEye. . .Instead of life stopping, I went on . .. So, MindsEye has helped a lot, and it’s helped other people too. I hope you will appreciate MindsEye like I do.”

Remember 410,400 people in Missouri and Illinois share Jewell’s diagnosis of vision loss. 13,000 are MindsEye listeners, but many more in the area could use the service.

The American Foundation for the Blind warns that “the giving up of tasks that proved too difficult, such as reading and hobbies, led to frustration, irritation, and boredom.” The results can be devastating. For example, blind individuals are twice as likely to suffer from depression.

Jewell knows this well. She recommends MindsEye to friends with vision loss. She believes getting a radio from MindsEye helped her through difficult times: I have always remembered [MindsEye] when some of my friends have got into the same situation and wonder what there is in life.”

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