Stories of Hope

Elizabeth Vienneau

I am writing to you in support of Prop 71. I am a fine art photographer whose work has been shown in galleries, on television, and in books and magazines. I have also had diabetes since the age of seventeen.

Recently I was told I had pre-diabetic retinopathy and that if I didn't maintain even stricter control of my blood sugars I would need laser surgery to stop the slow destruction of my eyesight. My husband and I also recently decided we would like to have a baby. A retina specialist advised me that if I become pregnant, there is a very good possibility my eyesight would deteriorate at a rapid pace. It really doesn't matter that I am considered in excellent health for a woman with type I diabetes. Not being able to makemart would be devastating, not being able to have a child is incomprehensible. To preserve my quality of life, we have decided to adopt a child.

No matter how much care I take with my health, diabetes is an unforgiving disease. My dream is to grow old with my husband and daughter and to be able to see it happen with my own eyes.

Prop 71 will fund research that could potentially help me have a normal life expectancy which as of now, I don't have because of diabetes. There are millions of us whose quality of life could be so greatly improved by this funding. My family and I support this measure whole heartedly as we see it as our only hope for a future together.