A Doctor Rises Above His Vision Loss

Jeffery Aaronson

Jeffrey Aaronson, M.D. spent more than 40 years taking care of sick people. A dedicated medical director of the intensive care unit at Northridge Hospital in California, Dr. Aaronson remembers, “I used to practically close up the place.”

That all started to change when he began losing his sight through a rare effect of the disease scleroderma.

“I was always a very independent individual, and it was not easy for me as my vision loss relentlessly continued,” he sadly recalls. Eventually, he decided to retire. “I left on March 15, 2005, the Ides of March, so I’ll never forget,” he says.

By then, Dr. Aaronson had already begun attending classes at Braille Institute, but it was not until he went completely blind that he got serious. An avid reader and writer, he has now completed two semesters of braille classes. “The more you read, the better you get,” he says.

Through Orientation and Mobility training, he has grown adept at using a white cane to get around town. Cooking classes have made him more comfortable in the kitchen. One-on-one technology lessons have been “terrific,” aiding him in the adaptive use of his computer, iPad, and iPhone.More important, however, has been the spirit of possibility Dr. Aaronson has gained. “You realize there are a lot of people at Braille Institute who care,” he says. “It’s a place where you can rise above your disability, a place of hope for all blind people.”

With his life now transformed, Dr. Aaronson, age 75, has decided to support Braille Institute through a bequest in his estate plan. “My three grown children are all reasonably successful, and my wife is also a doctor. So I’ve told them that I ultimately want my estate to go to Braille Institute. There’s a lot of humanity there, and I want to thank them for what they do.”

For more information about leaving a bequest through your will or trust, visit here.