Retinitis Pigmentosa

You can Google Retinitis Pigmentosa for a wide range of pages that explain what it is from a medical stand point, and how to explain it to children what RP is.

At the age of 6, I still remember the rain hitting the windshield and my mother crying, but trying not to as we were coming home from a full day at Juile Stien Eye Institute in Southern California. My father not speaking at all.

Up until then, I was known as the trouble maker of my neighborhood and school. I would walk into people, things and at Halloween I would kick the pumpkins.

So my parents took me to an Eye Specialist. My mothers brother was blind, but they did not know what from.

After examining me, the Dr. wrote on a piece of paper “Retinitis Pigmentosa” and gave it to my parents. My mother’s first words were well fix him. The Dr. said he is already legally blind from it.

When we finally got home my father who was a well established artist and producer of T.V. commercials took me to his art studio and sat me at his drawing board. In cartoon style he drew me, my sister and our dog. Then proceeded to draw lines to show how my sister could see me, and the dog at the same time. Then for me, the lines showed I could only see my sister and not the dog, unless I moved my head down. He told me that a part of my eye “Retina” was not like everyone elses. Mine was like a dried up orange peal. His was smooth as glass.

He then held me and asked me to make a promice to him. That I would express any feelings about my eyes through art. Not to store my feelings deep inside of me.

I am 46 now, I never broken that promise to him. I have never stopped my expressions through art. What a gift he gave me that rainy nite, and I continue giving insperation to others.

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