By Annette Tabor
As a longtime member of ADDA I’m often reminded of the many ways we support each other. By volunteering as a Co-Facilitator of our Easy Wellness Club Virtual Support Group and serving on ADDA’s Marketing Committee, I consistently find inspiration in our members stories.
During one of our Easy Wellness Club phone calls one Monday night, I met an amazing person, Marcie Brink-Cheney! Like many other ADDA members, Marcie, was diagnosed with ADHD late in life.
Early on in her education, Marcie remembers she was always in trouble in school for talking too much! Additionally, she was a daydreamer and had trouble organizing her papers and other belongings. She remembers doing better in classes that were small rather in big groups of students. As she continued her education she tried harder to do her best, her high school years were very busy but uneventful.
Upon entering college Marcie faced some depression. Her father passed away followed by a cousin she was very close to shortly after. She sought help to deal with the depression and even in this difficult time, graduated in three and half years with a degree in Social Work and minor in Social Science. A few years later, she earned two graduate degrees, one in Vocational Rehab Therapy and the other in Vision Rehab Therapy!
While visiting a high school friend Terry, Marcie began to find some answers to why she did things the way she did! A friend of Terry’s met Marcie and told him, “Marcie has ADHD!”. Terry said “No she doesn’t because she is so bright”. His friend replied “I have ADHD and I know Marcie does too, just by talking to her.” This conversation led to Marcie being diagnosed and treated for ADHD.
However, Marcie faces other challenges besides having ADHD. Marcie, now 64 years old, was born after a five and a half month pregnancy with something called retinopathy. The only vision she has is light perception in one eye. Marcie says she can still see the sun every morning, which is the perfect way to start the day!
Marcie grew up in a world full of challenges. Because of her caring, persistent parents and family, she learned to run, swim and roller skate! Marcie told me one day her sister asked her Mom “Why don’t you help Marcie instead of letting her run into the walls?” And her cleaver mom replied “How else is she going to learn where the walls are if she does not bump into them a few times!”
Always up for a challenge and wanting to learn new things, Marcie attended both the local public high school and the school for the blind. Marcie met her friend Terry while attending the school for the blind. Years later while in college, she visited him, and a few years after that, Marcie married her high school sweetheart Terry! They have been happily married for 16 years. They help each other meet the challenges they face as adults who are visually impaired!
Marcie works at a local hospital full time as both a Certified Vision Rehabilitation Therapist and a Certified Assistive Technological Instructional Specialist. She enjoys her work because she helps people accept their vision impairment and overcome the challenges they meet in their daily lives.
Marcie has many support systems in place to help her with the challenges she faces every day! She is thankful she found ADDA and our Easy Wellness Club Virtual Support Group. The group helps her so much to hear the ideas of other members and to share her ideas too! She feels our group helps people manage things they want to do!
By the way, Marcie is not a new member of ADDA, she attended the ADDA Conference in Detroit in 2013. Marcie is just one of the many talented, amazing ADDA members that inspire us!