by Allison Goldstein
The Beyond Blind Institute had a profound impact on our lives. On Thanksgiving Day, 2010, my then 27 year-old daughter, Nicole, suffered a grand map seizure, the result of a brain tumor. Four days later, she had multiple strokes and lost her eyesight – permanently. She was in the hospital for two months. When I brought her home, I was floundering; I had no idea how to proceed. The state-run agencies had little to offer.
Nicole had only been home a week when we received a phone call from one of God’s angels, Joyce Gugel, the founder of the Beyond Blind Institute. Joyce had called a flower shop that Nicole’s husband worked at looking for centerpiece donations and when she explained to him who she was and what her organization did, he couldn’t wait to tell her about Nicole’s story. We are convinced that there are no coicidences! Joyce called me immediately – I couldn’t believe it…there was hope! She invited Nicole to join the Beyond Blind group in their activities and right away, Nicole found that there were many other people living happy and productive lives without being sighted.
Nicole continues to enjoy social, fitness and learning activities with the group. Joyce and her husband Les have truly blessed our lives with their selfless efforts to empower the blind. We are forever grateful.