Wednesday, September 7, 2016

The Power of WE. Michael Benson shares his story. Part III

Oskar Shindlers grave in Israel
My story continues....What about love? What if I never find someone that will accept me and the fact I could go blind? How can you possibly ask someone to accept that? I was in my early 30's and had a woman tell me she loved me and didn't care that I had Glaucoma. I really wasn't sure about us being the right fit to grow old together but there he was again - Mr. Fear. I love my children and wouldn’t change the fact that I got married and had them but I do want to share how Glaucoma drove this decision. I needed another surgery at the time and she wasn't leaving me. Did my lack of trust, fear and Glaucoma drive that decision? Yes this is the truth, Mr. Fear came knocking in every area of my life and by the way still does. Only through fellowship and taking one day at a time, staying in today and not some made up future can I be in peace with it all.
VEF Event

Then there was the driving force in my head “ I need to make a lot of money” not to compete with the Joneses, although that thought was present because I didn’t stop being human. But primarily because of that fear - my secret - what if I loose my vision? How could I support myself? I took risks and got stung big time as recent as 2006 where I had taken a company public prematurely and funded the company mainly with my own funds. And I lost it all. 

I share these few of so many lessons learned which are now what I have to offer you. I have also learned a fear shared is fear cut in half and a joy shared is doubled.

I am not out of the woods with advanced Glaucoma and I do not want to go blind. That is the truth. I am not in denial but I am claiming my eye sight each day. If it is my destiny that I lose my sight, I am convinced by the mentors that I have been watching from a distance - those who are blind and not using losing their sight as an excuse to fold up camp. They are living amazing lives. They are also teaching me that sight and vision are two different pieces of the equation. We may lose our sight but we never lose our vision. That’s a long way from the thoughts as a kid drinking everyday that if I go blind I am going to kill myself.

VEF Event

If you're not there yet then believe that I believe in you. You can borrow my faith until you are up and running on your own. That is the power of the fellowship. You can find support groups for glaucoma online. Take it off line meet in person if you can, talk on the phone, go to a doctors visit with each other. No one knows like W,E know. This disease doesn't have to ruin your life, you get to make the choice to have a purpose driven life.

April  2014 I was flying home from Iowa to NJ from a business trip when I heard deep in my soul “It is time to give it away to keep it”.  I said out loud “OK” in tears. I got off the plane that day and the Visual Experience Foundation was born. VEF is a calling to share with you and others these and many other lessons as we teach the "Burn It" technique. I was secretly doing this for years to hold on to visual memories in detail in case that day came where I wouldn't have my sight. We do this on location at bucket list wish destinations that our recipients want to see while they still can. We also do "Life After Blindness" events for the blind to send a message to the world and to those losing vision that your life is not over.

I hope that what I have to say will be meaningful or make a difference in your perspective that will help you through this life. I will begin by telling you that WE are traveling this road together and that "WE" is a powerful word. You are not alone. 

To learn more about Michael Benson please visit his website or 

Burning memories

Glaucoma has no cure. Vision that is lost cannot ever be regained. Schedule an appointment with an ophthalmologist for a comprehensive exam today. Glaucoma can happen to anyone, anytime. A high risk group includes having a family history of Glaucoma, being very nearsighted or diabetic. African Americans, Hispanics, also being over the age of 60 increases the risk. You can be born with glaucoma. There is treatment - lifelong treatment - once you are diagnosed. But you must be first diagnosed.

For more information please visit, the Glaucoma Research Foundation's web site. It's your vision. Don't lose it.

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