Writing My Own Story by Mrs. Stevey Bruce

Stevey Bruce

I’ve had a wonderfully adventurous life, and it’s only because of Braille Institute that I’m writing about it now.

My story begins in the late 1950s when I accompanied my husband to New Guinea to study the people and culture. Our trip had been interesting until the stifling heat lured me to the hotel swimming pool. Apparently the water was contaminated, and a virus entered my eyes causing me to gradually lose my sight. In desperation we flew to Australia where a doctor was able to kill the virus and restore my sight.

Time passed, and my husband and I visited another faraway place—Juan Fernandez Island off the coast of Chile—where Alexander Selkirk, the purported model for Robinson Crusoe, had been marooned in the early 1700s. During the trip, we ate some mussels, which made my husband violently ill, and from which I contracted Hepatitis A, ruining my immune system. Consequently, my previous virus returned, this time permanently robbing me of most of my eyesight. I realized there would be no more reading, playing tennis, driving a car, or world travel, and it was vital for me to find new interests.

Thankfully, a friend introduced me to Braille Institute where I took classes that changed my life. I began to learn to read braille, took a class about how to cope with vision loss, and signed up for a creative writing class. For the first time, I began writing personal stories in this class. After my husband’s death, I completed and published his book about Alexander Selkirk. I also started my own memoir about our travels. I never dreamed of writing, but found that there was great joy in the endeavor.

I am so grateful to Braille Institute for their encouragement. My way of thanking Braille Institute for discovering the joy of writing and learning about ways to live more fully with limited vision is to give my support through a Braille Institute Charitable Gift Annuity. In addition to helping provide others like myself with life changing free programs and services, I like the idea that, in exchange for my contribution, I get an annuity payment for life as well as a current income tax deduction..

For more information about a Braille Institute Charitable Gift Annuity, visit here.