“Sight is what your eyes produce. Vision is what your heart produces. Never let what you see effect your vision.” – Shandren Reddy
After successful careers, raising two boys, and being “promoted” to grandparents, Dave and Judy Zwanziger consider their life truly blessed.
But even the greatest blessings can be met with challenges. In those times it's important to keep a positive perspective.
In 1985, at the age of 40, Dave was diagnosed with Birdshot Cornea Retinopathy (a viral infection of the retina). Knowing his eyesight would gradually deteriorate, he continued to work for Downing Construction as a project manager in the commercial division as long as he could, until eventually retiring in 2009.
Never Lose “Sight” of Your Goals
Today, Dave is considered legally blind and has limited tunnel vision. While his eyes may not be able to see like they used to, he hasn’t lost sight of his “vision” and that is to live life to the fullest – both mentally and physically. The Silver Sneakers program and the Indianola YMCA play a part in making that possible.
“We have been Silver Sneakers members since 2010, and were so happy when the Indianola Y started accepting the program last year and we could join,” says Judy.
Dave was used to walking up to 4 miles a day and many people would see him on the cart path along the west nine of the Indianola Country Club or walking the sidewalks of their neighborhood. “We joined the Y to use the facility when it was too cold for me to walk outside,” Dave explains.
As time went on, Dave’s worsening eye sight caused them to use the Y more than they thought. He started walking on the track, but the light changes in the corner areas, made it difficult for his eyes to adjust enough to feel comfortable.
A Change in Focus
Dave and Judy didn’t give up and decided to try out water walking/exercising. When Dave enters the rec pool, he gets on the black line and walks for about 45 minutes.
Along the way, they’ve met some great people. “Dave sometimes has trouble staying on the line, but our ‘pool mates’ help keep him on the straight and narrow… which can sometimes be difficult,” Judy laughs. “The friendships we’ve made are an added bonus.”
As he adjusts to life without his sight, Dave utilizes the Iowa Department of the Blind for audio books, home visits and visual aids, and they also take advantage of a support group offered at the Village.
And while they know there will always be challenges ahead, Judy will be right by Dave’s side as his “guiding light.”