My Story

My name is Richard, I am 59 and live in Davidson, North Carolina. Born in The Netherlands from a Scottish / Dutch family I was brought up bilingual.

As a younger man in the Netherlands I incurred several health issues but always believed that the downside was going to be kept at bay.

After graduating from Law School in ’91 I worked for different media companies in commercial roles and lastly for an agency with offices in Amsterdam & New York.

After commuting between Amsterdam and New York over a period of 4 years, I permanently relocated to the US with my family in 2019.

My media managers and I

Times Square

Before my transfer I used to fly into New York on Sunday afternoon and stay awake to get used to the time difference. One of the habits I built up over time was to wonder along Times Square for hours, the crossroads of the world, and just enjoy the lights and huge advertising billboards in my position as CEO of an international creative agency.

At the end of my first year living in the Tri-state area I had to stay over in town one night and decided to walk my ‘usual’ walk. Quickly I found that something was amiss. The lights were different, and I even asked the waiter in my hotel why they had dimmed the lights. Of course, I knew something was wrong but I refused to acknowledge it. Ultimately panic started to hit, and I reached out to Dr. J. Liebmann at Columbia Eye Hospital and was immersed in a series of tests over the following days. The news was not good. At all. I have a spiraling case of severe (systemic medication induced) glaucoma and it was only going to get worse. So my past medication usage, as a child, had come to haunt me.

Glaucoma

Glaucoma is a progressive eye pressure disease which damages the optic nerve. And once damaged there is no recovery. I see more doctors than some doctors in attempts to slow down the inevitable decline.

At this moment I have lost total sight in my right eye and losing it in my left eye. 2 years ago I was declared legally blind. Based on the above my job was terminated and we moved to NC.

My journey

On (at least) a weekly basis via social media, I will be taking you on my video journey sharing my ‘little’ mistakes, small steps and ‘large’ triumphs. And will sometimes show you how people react to my new reality. Maybe not always happy news but I am doing this to create awareness for people like me as well as myself. And research shows there are millions out there. But don’t get me wrong, I fully understand that there are so many people out there that, for diverse reasons, are way worse off than I am.

In these uncertain times with so many people facing mental health issues, to which I can now relate a little, I also mean to bring some hope and a smile. And if it helps just one person in any way, my efforts will have paid off. I have learned that some empathy, understanding and a little help go a long way.

So instead of getting ‘stuck’ in losing my vision, I started to create a vision on how to adapt and move on as I have so much to live for. Feel free to reach out!

TikTok Video Feed

Watch on TikTok