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Julia, 30

Updated: Nov 16, 2022

IG: byjulies

Where are you from? I’m from Berlin, Germany

Where do you live now? I live in Berlin

Tell us a little about yourself:

I study the linguistics of foreign languages with a specialization in German and Polish. At the moment, I am writing my thesis about the explicit knowledge of german-learners. On the side, I work as a private German tutor. I really like my work with my pupils. In my free time, I like to meet friends and spend my time in coffee shops. I’m very interested in film, fashion, food, books, and languages.

What’s your eye story?

As a baby, I was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer called Retinoblastoma. This type of cancer usually affects both eyes, but thankfully my right eye was able to be saved! I was in remission after that until the age of 6, and the Retinoblastoma returned. Again, my right eye was able to be saved with Radiotherapy. Today I live my life seeing out one eye.

What has been the most challenging thing mentally?

The hardest thing mentally has been, and continues to be, learning how to not only accept and love myself as I am but not care about what others think or say. I was bullied in school, and I remember it’s hurtful to this day. The second thing is the heredity of my disease.

What has been the most challenging thing physically?

The hardest thing physically is only having one eye. My eye looks different compared to the others, and they also don’t move symmetrically. As a result of the Radiotherapy, I have problems with my right eye staying properly lubricated.

What piece of advice would you give to someone going through their eye impairment journey?

I know that the way we look is very important. Your face is the first thing other people see, especially your eyes, and it’s something I struggle to cope with. At the end of the day, I have come to realize your look doesn’t matter, it’s your heart that does. If you have a beautiful heart, then you are beautiful to me. Besides that, I think the fact that I have one eye makes me special and has helped mold me into the woman that I am today. Strong and with a big heart. Don’t forget how amazing you are. You are so much more than an eye. I also like this quote: “Grow through what you go through.”

Who is your ocularist?

My ocularist is Theo Knauer in Berlin.

[Edited for clarity by @kfitz89]

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