What are some of the things you love most about the Earle Baum Center community?
“I love the fact that Earle Baum Center is offering all its classes using Zoom so that I can stay safe in my house and still enjoy the services available there. I miss everyone and all our activities together, but this is so great that they’ve adapted so well to our current reality.”
-- Jan Molen, St. Helena resident and retired Napa Valley College professor
How have Earle Baum Center connections helped you attain your personal and professional goals?
“Witnessing others in the Earle Baum community thrive gives me the determination to develop and promote new strengths. I’m also grateful that I got to meet others that are going through similar challenges. Having not only my instructors’ support, but also my friends at the Earle Baum Center gives me the courage to want more and know that I still have what it takes to make a difference in my community. As a future marriage and family therapist I will bring these life lessons to build resiliency in other communities. Most importantly Earle Baum Center has taught me the immense value of being a part of a community. Resilient communities like Earle Baum Center allow inclusivity for all members of our society to thrive.”
- - Margarita Amador, Rohnert Park resident and University of San Francisco graduate student
Which Earle Baum Center tools have been the most helpful and why?
“The Earle Baum Center has helped me in so many ways after being diagnosed with Lebers disease and left wondering, what do I do now? They initially provided me with a group of supportive staff as well as other clients who were going through the same thing I was experiencing. At first just hearing other people’s stories about their vision loss and how they dealt with it was comforting as well as encouraging. The staff at EBC introduced me to a variety of different techniques and technologies to help me navigate with confidence despite my vision loss. Everything from bump dots to help me use certain appliances, an electronic magnifier to read my mail, special software which enables me to use a computer, and cane training to assist with my mobility.” - - Chris Reynolds, Cotati resident
“My instructors as well as all the supportive staff have had a positive and dramatic impact on my life. When I first lost my sight, I was filled with a lot of anger and frustration. After working with those at EBC, I no longer feel that way. While life is still challenging, I am better able to meet those challenges because of the assistance I received from EBC.” - - Chris Reynolds, Cotati resident
Which Earle Baum Center class has been the most fun and enjoyable and why?
“The ukulele class. It’s nice to have an experience with a new instrument. I was skeptical at first but wanted to learn something new. With practice, playing comes naturally now. I look forward to the class every week; socializing and being around other people has been wonderful—even if it’s currently online and not in person, due to COVID.”
- - Myra Marin, Santa Rosa resident
How has Earle Baum Center helped you become more independent and make learning a daily habit?
“Eighteen months ago, I lost sight in my left eye. A week after surgery I phoned Earle Baum Center for help and guidance. Right away I was put together with a team who helped me learn to never stop moving, never stop learning and still be me. As I go through my classes of travel cane training, I see my world anew. I can walk on my own to a local café, order my takeout coffee and walk back home without the aid of my family or the fear that I can’t go places because I don’t have full sight. I am still me - - wife, mom, sister, friend. My training and skills-building from the Earle Baum Center has kept me independent and moving forward. As I go on my walks several times a day, I never leave home without my cane, hat, and protective sun glasses. A habit, a way of life, my new uniform.” - - Raeanne Facendini, Petaluma resident
What is your advice for folks who are new to Earle Baum Center?
“My advice to people who are new to Earle Baum Center is embrace the new ways of navigating the world as a person with sight loss or a person who is blind.” - - Bridget Ketelaar, Napa resident
“From fear and sadness to sense of loss of independence for what worked before: patience, extraordinary patience; that is your survival manual of how to make it through! I have learned to just allow and enjoy the peculiar eyesight, the strange Picasso eyesight that I have now and say to myself, ‘that’s really interesting.’” - - Vivian Hillgrove, Santa Rosa filmmaker (previous films includes: Amadeus, Blue Velvet and The Right Stuff)