I am Lee Nasehi, the President and CEO of Lighthouse Central Florida. As the President of Lighthouse, I live everyday with one goal in mind: make sure Lighthouse is available to every man, woman and child who needs us throughout Central Florida. Make sure real living, learning and earning is a dream come true for every person who is blind or living with severely impaired sight. This dream is within our reach.
My personal connection to Lighthouse is our son, Joe. Joe was born at just 25 weeks gestation weighing only 1lb. 14 oz. Retinopathy of prematurity took his sight, cerebral palsy makes mobility and other aspects of daily living a never-ending challenge for him, and his cognition was compromised by a brain hemorrhage he experienced while still in the NICU. It was such emotional dissonance for my husband and I to be so excited by the birth of our child, so desperately in love with our little man and at the same time be so frightened by his condition and fearful of the future. There was so much bad news the first few years of his life that we were overwhelmed.
But the good, no GREAT, news is that Lighthouse was there for us as a family when we needed it. Because of the services and support we received, what started as a nightmare for us became our family's story with many happy endings and even more fabulous beginnings. Today, Joe is 31 years old, living very happily with friends at Bishop Grady Villas in St. Cloud - another great organization. His days are filled with meaningful work, Special Olympic sports, eating frozen yogurt, bicycling, Mass, and more. He is happy and while he may not have sight, he still has plenty of true vision. My husband is Persian, and in Farsi they refer to people who are blind as “roshan dell” - roughly translated this means “illuminated heart.” Joe B. sees not with his eyes, but with his heart. His struggles and his happiness have filled our hearts and compel us to share his story and this organization with as many people as we can.
I have started this Blog so that I can share with you the hundreds of amazing success stories we have, and to help to educate a wider audience about the issues affecting those with vision loss. I ask you to please help us work towards our mission by sharing what our blog with your friends, liking us on Facebook, signing up to our e mail list, or contacting us to find out how you can get more involved.
You, too, can take our mission personally and become a part of assuring Lighthouse is able to continue charting life-saving courses for living, learning and earning in spite of vision loss for everyone who needs us.
As one amazing woman named Helen Keller said many years ago, “Alone we can do so little. Together we can do so much,”