Vision of Hope
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A New Support Group

A new support group called Vision of Hope will begin meeting on the second and fourth Thursday of every month at the Ward County Convention Center starting on May 10, 2012 from 1-3 PM.  Vision of Hope is aimed towards people affected by low vision or blindness.  The meetings will consist of guest speakers such as optometrists, psychologists, doctors and local politicians.  They will share knowledge of eye disease, address concerns, find solutions to everyday challenges, share information of programs, resources and agencies, experience special training and celebrate events and have fun.  The group is open to anyone affected in Ward County and it's surrounding counties.

Mike Bates is the creator of Vision of Hope, a non-profit organization.  Mike has Wet Macular Degeneration which is an age related eye disease.  He has lost his central vision and cannot drive, operate a computer, or read.  He is legally blind and had to retire from the oilfield early.  To spread the word about his group, Mike has been speaking at organizations in Monahans about Vision of Hope.  He wants people to be aware that there is a support group who can help.  He also hopes that it will help get people out of the house.  Mike said, "Since getting Wet Macular Degeneration, I have found out there are many diseases that cause low vision and blindness and a lot of people lose their independence because of these diseases.  Most are unable to work or read.  There is so much more to life than our eyes can see.  There is something you can do to help each other."

Hands of Compassion Home Healthcare will be the guest speaker for the first meeting on May 10, 2012.   Hands of Compassion will give a free health screening to attendees during the meeting.  For more information, contact Mike Bates at 940-550-2298.

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