Hi. My name is Andi Nicole Horstkotte. I have Usher Type 2a. I was first diagnosed in 2012 when I was 30 years old. I was a brand new mama of a 7 month old boy and a photographer who had huge plans in that field of work.
It was hard to grasp that the reality of my dreams were completely shattered...no more dream camera...no perfect vision to capture the beauty of nature and people. GONE. But you know what happened next?
My friends and family had faith in me. They all came together and bought me a BRAND NEW CAMERA! I am talking those heavy duty $3000 DSLR camera that would rock any photographers world. WOW. I still get teary eye of the day I opened up that package (you can read the details on my blog). This gave me confident to keep moving forward. I still have my central vision. I am NOT going to give up because of what might happen in the future...there are so many if's and maybe's and hope's.
In 2013 I gave birth to my 2nd child, a girl. She was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis. This is a life shortening disease and needless to say, I was DEVESTATED. How long will she live?? What's going to happen now?? How the HECK am I going to take care of her when I go blind?!? But you know what? They are working on a cure for her disease right this moment and it is because of people who had HOPE and RAISED AWARENESS that now my daughter will live a normal healthy life. This gives me hope that we will find something for Usher Syndrome. Will it be in my lifetime? I don't know...but I can pray and dream and share. Please do not ever give up on life and the things you love. Keep striving! God's got a plan and we are just a part of the story.
If I can survive having a crazy lovable almost 3 year old son, a 1 year old daughter with CF who has treatments/therapy's during the day, a love for photography and graphic designing even though it can be straining on my eyes.....I say, BRING IT ON. Let us encourage each other to do the best we can. :)