Hello! Here is a little about Maria…. That would be ME! I am a married mother of two great kids, daughter, sister, friend, and a Group Fitness Instructor in beautiful San Diego, CA. Oh, one more thing….I am also legally blind. Yes, I am blind.
I wasn’t born blind. Nope. I grew up with full vision as a typical kid and crazy teenager in Coronado, CA. In high school I discovered my love for the graphic arts. I was on the yearbook staff and was the Editor my senior year. I decided to pursue a career in the graphic arts and graduated from Cal Poly State University in San Luis Obispo, CA. with a degree in Graphic Communication/Design Reproduction. I loved the creativity of design, typography, color, art, and photography. I started working in design, production, and sales in the printing industry right out of college. I moved into the Halloween costume industry and worked as a product manager. I loved being in the artsy & creative world!
After 16 years in the industry. I became a stay-at-home mom after my second child was born. That is when I made a commitment to take care of my own health and get back into shape! I was 80 pounds overweight and miserable. I had to make a change. Slowly, I lost weight as fitness and healthier eating slowly became my new passion! I spent a few years as just another girl at the gym until I decided to take it to the next level. I became a certified Group Fitness Instructor. I jumped right in and never looked back! I have been an instructor for over 12 years helping others find their love for health and fitness like I did. I was fit, fabulous, and having fun when I noticed a problem with my vision. A problem that wasn’t going away.
I noticed a blurry spot in my right eye in April 2013. In September 2013, right after celebrating my 50th birthday, I was diagnosed with Lebers Hereditary Optic Neuropathy (LHON), a rare genetic condition causing sudden vision loss. It affects 1 in 50,000 people.
On November 5, 2013, I drove my car for the last time. On November 8, 2013, I was deemed legally blind by my Neuro–Ophthalmologist. I had no central vision left in either eye. I will never forget these moments….. the moments that started to change my life forever. Dealing with the loss of my vision, and my life as I knew it, is very difficult. Not gonna lie….some days are definitely harder than others.
Adjusting to this unexpected life is an ongoing process. I honestly don’t think I will ever fully accept becoming legally blind. What I WILL do, is acknowledge the fact that I am now a Girl Gone Blind and I need to keep fighting and figuring this sh*t out!