Vision Loss Prompts Teenager Kristin Jorgensen to Write a Book in Braille

Kristin Jorgensen, a student at American Preparatory Academy, recently celebrated her 16th birthday. The last six years have been challenging for Kristin because of vision loss in her right eye, resulting in 23 surgeries.

“It’s medically unique. The doctors have never seen anything like it. It doesn’t have a name for that reason. It’s blood in my eyes that shouldn’t be there.  I’m basically half blind in my right eye,” Kristin says.

Four years ago, Kristin began to learn Braille at school. Her teacher gave her the assignment of writing a Braille book. The result is “Mariposa.”

1. Her book, “Mariposa,” is the Spanish word for butterfly and the name of the main character.

“It’s about a butterfly who goes out into the world and has adventures and develops colors on her wings,” Kristin says.  

2. Theater is Kristin’s favorite subject in school. She loves to sing, dance and act. She was in the musical Once On This Island in eighth grade. She played the role of a minion to one of the gods.

3. “My favorite animal is a giraffe because they’re just different from other animals,” Kristin says.

She’s grateful for her friends because they help her through her vision problems and help her to feel normal.

4. “I love being able to ride my bike. I’m not allowed to drive because of my eyes, so being able to ride a bike is like a car for me—it gives me that freedom,” she says. Kristin has a teal old-style beach bike.

5. “The book ‘Not After Everything’ by Michelle Levy. It’s about a boy who lost his mother to suicide and whose dad treats him poorly, but the boy falls in love with a girl who helps him turn his life around and even go to college.