I FINALLY DID IT! I took my very first plane ride by myself. You know, the airport is a pretty scary place full of lights, people, and tight timelines… or so I thought as a blind traveler. I was TOTALLY wrong. I checked in with the Disabilities Service Desk at the airport and asked for assistance. I was greeted by an airport employee. I was taken by wheelchair as I think its easier to assist with my bags, cane and navigating the airport. I flew right through a separate security line as if I was a celebrity. TSA was so attentive and made sure to use verbal cues as I entered the existed the security screener. They helped me with my bags and away we went!! I waited at the gate and boarded early. I was greeted by a US Airways employee who knew I was coming, knew my seat number and helped me make my way through the plane. They took time to tell me the safety instructions, where the exits were and the bathrooms. When we landed, they were right there helping me back through the plane. I was greeted by another airport employee and was swept away to the location I asked for. This trip could not have been any easier. It really gave me so much ease and comfort to know I was a priority. I felt safe and confident that this would be the start of many more trips! It was like a part of my independence came back to me.

And where was I going? My first out of state girls trip!! Woohoo!! The days were filled with sunshine, beautiful lake views and great friends. We had an absolute blast as my friends read me the latest People magazine, always made my plate from the amazing food spread we had and made sure I was totally decked out with a blue cup, blue plates and blue towels. Now that is what true friendship looks like! I feel happy, confident and a little sun-burnt 🙂

At age 27, I went blind from a rare genetic eye disease - Leber's Hereditary Optic Neuropathy. I am here to share my stories of how it is to get hit with a disability and how nothing should ever stop you from what you want to do.

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