A letter to my eight year old self
in Ambassadors, News, Paediatrics, Sacha Thomas
3 Jun 2016
The following letter has been written by 15 year old Sacha Thomas, youth ambassador for Save Sight Institute.
Sacha was born with oculocutaneous albinism, a condition which affects colouring (pigmentation) of the skin, hair, and eyes. Affected individuals typically have very fair skin and white or light-colored hair, and a reduced pigmentation of the colored part of the eye (iris) and the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye (retina). People with this condition usually have vision problems such as reduced sharpness; rapid, involuntary eye movements (nystagmus); and increased sensitivity to light (photophobia).
Dear 8 year old Sacha,
This is your fifteen year old Year 10 self, writing this letter to inform you of the many exciting, sad, happy, and scary things that are to come. There are many experiences you will go through with very different outcomes and natures, and they will all shape you into the wonderfully independent person (with self-belief) who is writing this letter to you today.
To start off I just want to say that you presently have an amazing support network of family, friends and others that are there to sustain you through everything, and they continue to do so to this day. You have been so lucky with all your teachers and support people. You will continue to like each new person and appreciate the individual gifts, insights and experiences that they will bring.
From when you are eight until now, quite a lot of things will happen and change in your life, including relocating to Sydney twice, starting high school, having two major eye surgeries and many more trials.
There are two things that I have mentioned above that I really want to talk to you about and expand on. The first one is starting high school. Starting high school will be very scary for you as you will come from such a small primary school, moving into a much bigger mainstream primary school for a year and then two years later to high school. It will be terrifying, but all of your fears will go away as soon as you set foot in your wonderful school. You will instantly feel accepted and there will be amazing people there wanting to help you and make your time there as smooth as possible. There is nothing to worry about with this. You will be just fine.
Secondly: you’ll have major eye operations – one in 2012 and another in 2014. This will be scary and you’ll be riddled with fear. However, you will overcome your fear and you will be so happy afterwards because these operations will actually improve your sight and make so many more opportunities available for you. During your recoveries you will be surrounded by so many incredible people who just want to help you and make it as easy as can be.
You will gain physical independence through great support, but more importantly by daring to challenge yourself. When you do this, you will find that the world is there to assist you in what you desire to achieve.
That’s all for this letter, I’m sure I’ll be writing to you again soon but until then just enjoy living your life and enjoy being young and innocent with no responsibility.
Love 15 year old Sacha x