Darlene was diagnosed with Keratoconus in 2008. She used toric lenses and sclera lenses for several years, but after years of struggling with them she received a cornea transplant in her right eye in 2012. Unfortunately it rejected four years later, and in 2017 she received a second transplant in that eye.

Following Darlene’s first transplant, she healed well and was able to return to work rather quickly. After her second transplant surgery, she needed more comprehensive eye care and hasn’t been able to work since. She also suffers from non-combat PTSD, which has also contributed to her struggles.

“It has been a journey of healing not just my vision, but of my spirit.  That is why I capture moments. Taking pictures is my art therapy.  The play of light, textures and colors that I didn’t see for so long, speak even more to me now.”

“The photo with the branch forming archway makes me want to see if unicorns are back there!”

“The solitary standing rose...was a moment meant for me! It was standing tall, in full bloom...a reminder to me to do the same.”

“I felt lucky enough to catch a bumblebee on a flower, and it reminds me to keep finding ways to be productive but enjoy the flowers on the way.”

“The cluster of roses...stood out to me because of colors and textures.”

“The milkweed with the orange butterflies- those flowers smell so good!  No wonder butterflies love them!  Butterflies remind me, even though my life is transforming, to find joy in each day and fly!”

She is 53 years old, a Navy Veteran and formerly worked in clinical research and public health.