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Marion Reh Gurfein

Marion Reh Gufein.

Marion Reh Gurfein is a lively, educated, well-travelled, ninety-one-year-old artist who developed severe macular degeneration in her early 80’s. Marion utilizes new technology to enable her to live as normal a life as possible. She uses a Video Eye to magnify newspaper print onto a television screen and a monocular lens to bring faces and television into focus.

Marion is a big fan of audio books, which the Library of Congress sends her free of charge. A former watercolor artist, Marion had to not only stop teaching art classes, but had to stop sketching carvings on Victorian buildings in Washington, D.C.

She recently turned to a new form of art using colored paper, scissors, and glue, as she can still distinguish color and shape. There are 117 pieces of such artwork hanging in her guest room. Marion also writes poetry, which has been published in newspapers.

Marion has become a creature of habit—a place for everything and everything in its place—which makes it easier to locate items. She applied brightly colored stickers with bumps on them to her appliances to help her use them.

She walks with a brightly colored cane or a walker on wheels when she goes out, and she welcomes people who help her cross busy streets. Marion volunteered to appear in a video that helps explain how to cope with low vision.

When diagnosed, Marion was nervous and scared. However, her spirit and determination to go on is to be admired and imitated. She wants to be upbeat and positive for her three grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren. Marion’s advice is, “don’t be ashamed to admit you have a handicap. Work with and around it, and ask for assistance when needed, so you can take control again.”

Adapted from the 2010 Annual Report

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