A Journey of Losing Vision and Finding Resilience

Thriving in the journey. That’s been Becky Andrews’ roadmap.

Growing up, Becky would strike out in softball games and feel clumsy backstage at dance recitals. She also was never able to see the stars at night. So when her ophthalmologist diagnosed her with retinitis pigmentosa during her freshman year at Utah State University, she finally understood all those childhood challenges.

Becky didn’t think of herself as blind for several years after her diagnosis. But as her peripheral vision narrowed over the next 10 years, she had to give up driving and accept her need for a mobility cane. Becky and her husband, Steve, also became involved with the Foundation Fighting Blindness.

“My husband and I served as FFB Utah Chapter presidents from about 1992 to 1997 and continue to be involved in various fundraising events, support, and organizing of educational meetings,” says Becky. “I’ve had the opportunity to present on various topics at the VISIONS Conferences -- last year on coping to thriving with vision loss.”

“One of my favorite FFB memories was the first conference I attended with my parents as a young mom. I remember attending the dance and seeing Gordon and Lulie Gund out on the dance floor laughing and having so much fun. In that moment, I recognized that life would be just fine as I lost my vision. I truly could thrive in the journey. Their example and those of so many others in the community have helped immensely.”

Becky has even found an amazing friendship with Alanna Whetsel, diagnosed with Stargardt disease, who shares Becky’s love of running. The two run side by side with a tether between them and have raced in several marathons together. They even qualified and will be running in the Boston marathon next year. Both women have learned to embrace their new identity together, one step at a time.

Becky is also a licensed clinical mental health counselor who owns her own therapy practice, Resilient Solutions, Inc., which employs 16 other therapists. One of the programs offered by Resilient Solutions, Inc. is a retreat for women who are blind and visually impaired. This retreat, offered in June and August, is a unique opportunity to connect and share stories with other women experiencing vision loss.

Undeterred by the certainty of eventual blindness, Becky has adopted a proactive approach to creating a life of purpose and joy. To learn more about Becky’s remarkable story of living life to the fullest, check out her book, Look Up, Move Forward, by visiting: http://www.resilientsolutionsinc.com/look-up-move-forward.html.