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Jessica Schwartzman

Macular Degeneration Community Advocate Jessica SchwartzmanJessica was previously an advcoate on

My name is Jessica and I am from Long Island, New York. I was diagnosed with Stargardt’s Disease in 2010/2011 when I was 22 years old. Until my diagnosis, I never had glasses or any issues with my vision. The year of my diagnosis, I noticed I couldn’t read my textbooks while on a study abroad program and made an appointment to have my vision checked once I got home. Finding a diagnosis seemed to be a struggle, and I had to visit quite a few doctors before finally nailing down Stargardt’s. My vision declined fairly quickly, and within the year I was classified as low vision. Right after my diagnosis, I moved to Japan and lived there for 6.5 years. I enjoy traveling, trying new food, studying Japanese and social media. I hope to bring awareness to my disease and to showcase what life is like with low vision. I think representation is so important, especially on social media, and hope to connect with other low vision and visually impaired people there!

You can check out Jessica on Instagram - @japandajess.

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