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Spring 2012 - Junior Blind of America

Breaking Barriers and Finding Success

For three-year-old Noah,

going to Junior Blind’s Camp

Bloomfield was more than

a family outing—it was an

opportunity to exercise his

independence. At his tender

age, he had already overcome

so much.

When Noah first enrolled

in Junior Blind’s Infant &

Early Childhood Program, he

was delayed in all areas of his

development and unable to

walk. He had been diagnosed

with a rare set of abnormalities,

including a severe case of

nystagmus (involuntary eye

movement), which affected

his balance, depth perception,

hand-eye coordination and

ability to lead a “normal” life.

With the help of

reconstructive eye surgery,

vision stimulation services

provided by Junior Blind

and Noah’s determination, he

can now navigate the world

around him, walk using a

walker and even take a few

steps on his own.

And, what better place than

Camp Bloomfield for Noah

to take his achievements,

especially his mobility, to the

next level? After all, Camp

Bloomfield is a place that

has offered life-transforming

opportunities to thousands

of children who are blind or

visually impaired…a place

where children can explore

their capabilities and try new

things.

Last summer, he had the

chance to participate in all that

camp had to offer, including

climbing the challenging rock

wall. After his older brother

scaled it, Noah asked his

mother if he could try it, too.

She feared that he might not

be able to physically climb the

wall and then be disappointed.

Hesitantly, his mother gave

in to his pleas, and Noah was

strapped into a harness.

Although Noah was able

to climb only a few steps,

this achievement exceeded

everyone’s expectations.

“What a wonderful surprise

to see Noah enjoying normal

childhood activities, like the

climbing wall,” says his mother.

“With the help of Junior

Blind, Noah has reached goals

my husband and I didn’t

imagine he would ever achieve.”

At Camp Bloomfield,

Noah and other campers

feel safe testing their limits

and challenging themselves.

Through these experiences,

children who are blind or

visually impaired build the

confidence they need to

become independent…a gift

that can last them a lifetime.

Visually impaired children, like Noah, can take

their achievements to the next level at Camp

Bloomfield.

Noah gets a last minute word of encouragement

before he attempts the climbing wall at Camp

Bloomfield.

Junior Blind of America • 5300 Angeles Vista Boulevard • Los Angeles, CA 90043 • (323) 295-4555 • www.juniorblind.org


The Greatest Generation Leaves a Legacy of Hope for Future Generations

The Liegners remembered Junior Blind

in their estate, so that more children

who are visually impaired could find

their independence.

For Frank and Rosemary Liegner,

learning that their baby grandson,

Kitts, would have permanent vision

loss was just as painful and challenging

as it was for his parents. Fearing that

Kitts might be unable to support

himself as an adult, they began setting

money aside for him as a “safety net.”

Little did they know that with the help

of a non-profit organization called

Junior Blind, Kitts would find his

independence and thrive.

Frank and Rosemary met and

fell in love while he was serving as a

physician and she a nurse in the U.S.

Army. They went on to have four

children who also pursued careers

in the medical field, including their

son Jeffrey who elected to become an

ophthalmologist.

Unbeknownst to Jeffrey, he and his

wife Jana would soon face their son

Kitts’ frightening diagnosis of near

total blindness. When he was only

three months old, Kitts contracted

encephalitis. Though he survived

this life-threatening virus, he lost all

vision in one eye and suffered greatly

diminished vision in the other eye.

Even though Jeffrey was a

practicing ophthalmologist, he and his

wife were overwhelmed by the news of

Kitts’ vision loss. “My wife Jana and I

were not prepared for the challenges of

raising a child who is blind,” he says.

“We knew Kitts needed support, but

we needed guidance and support, too.”

Soon, Jeffrey and Jana learned of

Junior Blind and our comprehensive

services. They were immediately

relieved and comforted by the

information and assistance they

received from the organization. Best

of all for Kitts, he found Junior Blind’s

Camp Bloomfield, a place where there

were kids just like him, riding horses,

hiking and swimming, confidently

enjoying the same activities that other

kids do. Kitts’ experience at Camp

Bloomfield was not only fun, it gave

him additional tools that helped

him on his journey toward greater

confidence and self-sufficiency.

Today, Kitts is a teacher of the

visually impaired with a master’s

degree in Special Education from San

Francisco State University. The entire

Liegner family is so proud of Kitts and

all that he has accomplished.

As Jeffrey states, “Kitts’

grandparents, Frank and Rosemary,

lived long enough to see the difference

that Junior Blind made in their

grandson’s life…and they never forgot

it. They sought a way to express their

gratitude.”

Recognizing that Kitts would be

able to support himself, Frank and

Rosemary decided to take his “safety

net” funds and gift them to Junior

Blind through their estate. The

Liegners gave so that Junior Blind

could help even more children and

families in need, families just like

theirs.

Kitts (center), with his two brothers,

credits Camp Bloomfield with helping

to provide him the tools he needed to

succeed.

Junior Blind is deeply grateful

for the Liegner family’s wonderful

bequest. Thoughtful estate gifts enable

us to continue to offer our support

and services to all families in need.

For more information, on leaving a

bequest to Junior Blind, please see

article below.

Leave a Legacy of Hope

for Our Children

Planned gifts to Junior Blind

provide many benefits to our

children…and to you.

Bequests in a will or trust are

the most popular type of planned

gift received by Junior Blind

because they are so easy to make

and have many benefits. Through a

bequest, you can make a substantial

contribution without reducing the

financial assets available to you

during your lifetime.

• You can gift specific amounts

of cash, stock or real estate, or

name Junior Blind as beneficiary

of a percentage of your estate.

• If you have already prepared

your will or trust, your attorney

can easily amend it to name

Junior Blind as a beneficiary.

• You can also name Junior Blind

as the beneficiary of a bank

account, brokerage account, IRA

or life insurance policy.

Charitable gifts made upon your

death are free from federal estate

tax. More importantly, the gifts

you leave Junior Blind will ensure

a brighter future for generations of

blind, visually impaired and multidisabled

children.

For more information on

planned gifts, please contact

Bonnie E. Harris, Esq. at

(323) 290-6294.

Junior Blind of America • 5300 Angeles Vista Boulevard • Los Angeles, CA 90043 • (323) 295-4555 • www.juniorblind.org

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