Idaho Life: Local 7-year-old will not let disease slow her down

Credit: Paul Boehlke/ KTVB

Idaho Life: Local 7-year-old will not let disease slow her down

Print
Email
|

by Brian Holmes

Bio | Email | Follow: @KTVB

KTVB.COM

Posted on November 12, 2012 at 10:53 PM

Updated Thursday, Dec 5 at 4:13 PM

BOISE -- Hannah Rodgers seems like any other 7-year-old girl.

She plays inside, she plays outside, she fights with her sister, but there is something different about Hannah, something you do not see.

Hannah is legally blind.

"The term I was looking up on the internet was near total blindness. So she is right, almost there," Hannah's mom, Trina, said.

Here's the other unusual thing about Hannah; she has not always been this way.

"Man, super smart super funny, giggly... very, very strong willed ... out spoken," Trina said, describing her daughter from a very young age -- and that part of her has not changed.

However, a little more than a year ago, Hannah told her mom something was different.

"So she first started coming to us and saying that stuff was foggy," Trina said.

Trina says Hannah was persistent in pointing out the problem with her eyes, so they finally went to the doctor in October 2011.

She was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa, a degenerative eye disease that eventually leaves a person completely blind.

However, what often takes years happened to Hannah, in just a few months.

Taking her from nearly 20/20 vision to 20/400, meaning what most people see at a distance of 20 feet, looked to be 400 feet away to her. It is even worse now, and her peripheral vision continues to close in.

The speed of the disease quickly forced the Rodgers' family to come to terms with Hannah's outlook.

"It was just time and it was just a point where you just said we can have sad days but we can't just be sad all the time," Trina said.

This is not a story about coming up with a cure or paying for mounting medical bills, it's about determination, which is something Hannah has yet to lose.

"She's a go-getter," said Trina.

Even though she is unable to see more than six feet in front of her, it has not slowed Hannah down.

So, when she decided she wanted to drive a go-kart, about the only one who had doubts was her mom.

"And I didn't think they'd even let her try to drive the go-karts."

However, the folks at Wahooz were game.

She drove the whole five minutes, with just one little bump.

"It is kind of thrilling to her to have that independence," Trina said.

Since then, the sky has been the limit for Hannah, literally. This past summer, they took a ride in a skydive simulator.

The Rodgers refuse to let Hannah miss out on anything.

"Build those pictures and builds those memories in her mind and in her head so that she could reflect back on those even when she can't see anymore," Trina said.

 

The doctors have told them total blindness in coming, but unlike her vision the Rodgers know Hannah's strong will, will likely remain unchanged.

"She just has a really strong drive not to be different and kids don't want to be different anyway and so I think that's what motivates her the most ...is to just keep going," said Trina.

Print
Email
|