For months, Millie had been falling asleep at unusual times and was not eating well. She had also been exhibiting odd behaviors at daycare. Not wanting to play with other children and clinging to her teacher. Millie would also move closer to someone when they were talking, as if she were unable to hear. Her family became very concerned and after several doctor appointments, Millie was diagnosed with a brain tumor that left her with no vision in the left eye and no peripheral vision in the right, at the tender age of three.
While going through this traumatic experience, Millie was referred to the Lighthouse. Nancy, a Lighthouse Instructor and a Teacher for the Visually Impaired, began working with Millie doing pre-Braille activities and helping her explore the environment using other senses. Nancy also provided strategies to the family that would help improve Millie’s quality of life. Equipped with resources and compassion, Nancy and Millie embarked on a journey together to normalize her life day-to-day. While going through chemotherapy, four-year-old Millie became extremely afraid of what was happening. Nancy helped ease her anxiety and showed the family how to support Millie when times were tough. “Nancy has been a lifeline all these years and she calls Millie every Friday,” said Yvonne, Millie’s grandmother. “Nancy has been amazing for the last seven years and she’s such a dear friend to our family,” she added.
When the COVID-19 pandemic forced the Lighthouse to temporarily suspend in-person training, we quickly moved our services to virtual instruction, allowing Millie, and other clients, to continue to receive these important services. Millie had the opportunity to attend virtual camp to grow, learn and engage with other students. After camp was over, she and another student were virtually partnered to work on art projects together. They cannot wait to do these projects in person soon. Millie hopes that every Lighthouse client can experience the same opportunities she has. In many ways, Millie is like other children her age. She started 6th grade this year, is a Junior Girl Scout and enjoys taking ballroom dance classes. Millie doesn’t allow anything to stop her from living every day as “The Best Day Ever”!

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