Being thankful for what we do have
I DID a story this week with a woman called Shannyn Biggs.
Shannyn was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa, a genetic eye condition that causes cells in the light-sensitive retina to degenerate slowly and progressively, just 12 weeks ago.
When she was diagnosed she found out she was already 80 per cent blind and the condition would eventually cause her to lose all her sight.
This diagnosis has changed her entire life, from having to hand in her driver licence to her also having to leave her job.
But rather than get down about this and feel bad for herself, Shannyn is taking this diagnosis in her stride and going about preparing for life in the future when she loses her sight.
She said to me that her biggest fear in her diagnosis was how it would impact on her children.
Sitting with Shannyn and her two daughters I was amazed by the way they were going about this massive change in their life.
Not only is she doing everything she can to deal with her own diagnosis, she is determined to help raise awareness about sight loss and help others who are going through the same thing.
Something Shannyn said to me really hit me hard.
She said that because she eventually won’t be able to see, she’s appreciating everything she can see while she still can.
After interviewing Shannyn I started thinking about how much we take for granted in life.
If we have good health, a roof over our head and food on the table, we really should count ourselves among the luckiest people in the world.
But rather than appreciating all these things we do have, we can often get caught up in what we don’t have. I myself am guilty of this.
It’s a timely reminder as Christmas approaches and we can get caught up in the hype of presents and celebrations.
Does it really matter if we don’t get all those presents we want for Christmas? No, not really.
What’s more important is spending time with our loved ones and appreciating all we do have, rather than what we don’t have.
‘‘ NOT ONLY IS SHE DOING EVERYTHING SHE CAN TO DEAL WITH HER OWN DIAGNOSIS, SHE IS DETERMINED TO HELP RAISE AWARENESS ABOUT SIGHT LOSS AND HELP OTHERS WHO ARE GOING THROUGH THE SAME THING.