Eye on Central Minnesota

Eye on Central Minnesota

By Lori Peglow

Meet the Officers

In September, the Central Minnesota Chapter held its annual election of officers.  The following members were elected to the board: Jeff Young was elected President, Bev Stavrum was re-elected 1st Vice President, Second Vice President is Karlene Malmanger, Todd McKee was re-elected as Treasurer, and in December Beth Moline was elected as Recording Secretary.

We appreciate so much all of the work and time Ron Mahnke has done in the past as chapter president and the work he continues to do.  Jeff Young thanked everyone who has served over the past year and those who have agreed to serve as officers this year.

Annual Events in the Area

Our annual fund raising spaghetti dinner will be held on Friday, January 15, 2016 at the Eagles Club in Saint Cloud.  The time of the dinner is from 4:30 PM to 7:30 PM.  There will also be silent auction items to bid on.  Ticket prices are $8.00 for adults, $4.00 for children six to twelve and children five and under are free.

Andy Virden Scholarship

The Andy Virden scholarship is available at the Saint Cloud State University for visually impaired students or students of a visually impaired parent.  Applications are accepted after January 1, 2016.  For information, the contact person at SCSU is Owen Zimpel, phone number 320-308-3117.  Additional information can be obtained through Richard Virden at 763-428-1589.  Andy was a former president of the chapter.  The scholarship is in his honor.

An Experience from a Member

Recently I, Lori Peglow, a member of the chapter, along with my husband, Stan Peglow, were in Florida for a convention for our business.  The second day there, my husband was admitted to one of the large hospitals in Fort Lauderdale with health issues.  While there in the general hospital, a patient in another room was hollering almost constantly for several days and nights.   Hospital staff can’t share patient information due to privacy laws.  However, I did find out the patient was elderly, didn’t speak English and it was obvious he had some form of dementia.  Because of these issues, the patient was scared.  He only felt safe when a hospital staff member was in the room with him.

As I listened to his cries for several days when I visited my husband, I thought about what he must have felt like.  He probably didn’t know what was happening to him.  He wasn’t in familiar surroundings.  He was in a setting where he didn’t understand the language.  It reminded me of what must have happened to my daughter when she came out of her coma and her state of confusion after her accident seven years ago.  She woke to being visually impaired with cortical blindness.  She lives in darkness a lot, but sometimes she has peripheral vision and sometimes her brain is misinterpreting what she is seeing. 

Because of her short-term memory loss, she doesn’t remember some things, even with repetition.  She lives in a house she has never seen.  She can’t remember how to get around places.  She can’t see the calendar to know what the day and date is and doesn’t remember without lots of repetition.  She has long-term memory so she remembers her children and how she was before the accident.  But I watch her struggle with how much her life has changed.  Her experience, along with that of the patient in Florida, has given me a new appreciation and respect for the challenges persons with disabilities have to overcome and how well they take on those challenges and continue living their lives to the fullest extent possible.