Mother May Eye
When someone asked recently about the most underrated aspect of success in my corner of rehabilitative care, many possibilities raced through my head, from the more evident to perhaps the less considered. After a few moments in thought, my ultimate response surprised my young counterpart, but became clearer as we delved further into discussion. The most underrated and often overlooked aspect to a successful VT program – and probably most developmentally based therapeutic programs as a whole – without a doubt is the mothers’ dedication to the success of their children.
I know, I know…dads are important too. Just hear me out.
One of the greatest gifts Vision Therapy has ever given me was the opportunity to meet Marjie Thompson, the founder of P.A.V.E. For those of you not lucky enough to have ever met Marjie before her passing in 2005, she was a school teacher whose own child was struggling mightily in school and eventually was helped through Vision Therapy. Marjie, who was so completely dedicated to all children’s success, took it upon herself to not only become a Vision Therapist but to create an organization whose primary mission was, and still is, to educate the general public on the benefits of Vision Therapy. Marjie’s passion and energy was evident to anyone who knew her, and in her wake stand so many of us who lit our own torch in her guiding light, and continue on in her memory.
Another great example of this type of passion confined in one mother’s body is Michele Hillman, the co-founder of the Vision Therapy Parents Unite Facebook Page. Michele, whose own child is a Vision Therapy graduate, recently attended COVD’s Annual Meeting in San Diego and successfully infused her energy into everyone and anyone with whom she came in contact. The VTPU Facebook page – tip of the cap to Michele’s co-founder as well, Kelly Snedden – has become a highly recommended and revered resource for parents around the world when discussing an researching options for their struggling children. All of it stemming from the passion of these two moms who witnessed first hand the benefits of Vision Therapy and became passionate enough to spread the word in anyway they could.
My friend, Cavin Balaster, and I had dinner a few weeks ago and as an added treat his mother, Kris Balaster, joined us. We don’t get to visit as often as any of us would like, and given our busy schedules, the opportunity to visit over a meal is always a welcome treat. Cavin, who affectionately refers to his mom as ‘mama bear’, makes no secrets of his feelings that following his accident his mom saved his life. Given the monumental strength Kris demonstrated – and continues to demonstrate – in support of Cavin’s daily trials and tribulations during his recovery, and the incredibly deep bond they now share as mother and son, the term of endearment certainly fits. Anyone who spends more than five minutes around them would quickly concur, Kris is an incredible lady.
It would be easy to continue on and on with more examples of mothers who just understand on some innate level their own value in the rehabilitation and/or recovery with their own children. Marjie and Michele took the bull by the horns and set the stage for so many others to learn the benefits of Vision Therapy from people who have traveled a similar path. Kris was Cavin’s rock during his recovery, and thanks to her efforts, Cavin is now telling the world about his experiences through his new website, his lectures, and his writing.
On second thought, no amount of praise or celebration will ever do justice for the efforts our moms put forth, and in that way they will always be underrated. They should, however, always, always, always, be appreciated.