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I Have ROP, It Doesn't Have Me!
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Hi.  Metai ae everyone!  Lauren here.  I hope everyone is doing well. 


A lot of people may know me as the writer who got her first book published as of last year.  The book is called Finding Her Courage and it can be bought at Borders and


Some of you may know through talking to me on MSN Messenger that I’m visually impaired. 


For those of you who don’t know, let me tell you my story.  I hope you’ll nasai ae, listen, with an open heart and mind.


My name is Lauren Elizabeth Rodriguez and I’m 23 years old.  I’ve been visually impaired since I was born.  But the problem didn’t’ start affecting me until I was five years old and I’ve never let it stop me.  I’ve never let it bring me down most of the time, either.  And althoguh I can’t see like everyone else, I see where it counts.  I see where others cannot.  And that’s with my heart.  And I think seeing with my heart is way better than seeing with my eyes any day.


When people ask me what it’s like to be visually impaired and how I Feel about it, I tell them that it’s a blessing in disguise.  Sure there are times I wish I could see like everyone else just for one day, but then I remember that God made me this way for a reason.  I can inspire so many people and I intend to do just that.  I may not see like everyone else, but I can see where it counts.  My goal is to try and help people who are fully sighted, learn how to treat those of us with visual impairements with the respect and kindness we deserve.


I became visually impaired when I was born.  I was born early, there fore, I had to be put on a venalator to breathe and the oxygen levels destroyed my retinas in both eyes.  This condition is called ROP.   The way I look at it is, I have ROP, it doesn’t have me.  I still do the same things everyone else does.  I volunteer at a daycare center, go to plays and the movies and enjoy watching TV.  I just do some of those things differently.  The scary truth or rather the blind reality of my condition is that one day I will wake up and not be able to see a thing.  And even though that does scare me, I take comfort in the fact that I know God and my family will always be there for me.  And even though my family might not understand what it’s like to be visually impaired, I know they still love me.  And I know some of you who read this may think, I’m nuts, but the way I look at it is,  only when I’ve lost all my eye sight completely, will I truly see the world in all its beauty that God created.  I’ll use my other senses to compensate for my lost vision, like I always have.  But most importantly, I’ll use my heart.  My heart will become my eyes.  And in a way, even though I’m afraid of that day, I also can’t wait for it.  I can’t wait for it because when it finally comes, only then, will I truly see the world and all its beauty God has to offer.


I hope this has taught everyone a lesson about truly seeing the world and the people in it.  I also hope everyone who reads this, reads it with their eyes, but more importantly, that they read it with their heart and share it with others.


If anyone would like to get in contact with me, via MSN Messenger, they may do so by iming me at:


Or just e-mail me at:


I hope this has helped everyone realize that seeing the world through blind eyes isn’t a bad thing.  And seeing the world with your heart is better than seeing with your eyes.


“Those who see with their heart will never lose their way.  But those who rely on vision alone will always be lost.”


May the light of God shine upon you and keep you safe as well as the power of water be with everyone always

Mesai an