District 06 - Jerry Corbett
Jerry Corbett | Legislator Sarah S. Anker's Honoree
Jerry Corbett is Legislator Sarah Anker’s 1st Annual Champion of Diversity.
He is 79 and lives in Leisure Village with his wife, Eileen. He has a son, Glen, daughter-in-law Margaret and 2 granddaughters, Amber, currently studying art in New Paltz and Kayla, who is currently physical education in Cortland.
The bio below is in his own words, dictated to his wife, Eileen. Otherwise, any additions outside of that appear in brackets :
Date of Birth: September 18, 1943
I was a very active man before I lost my sight. I played golf, billiards and, bocce, I also was an accomplished artist. [I was also a member of the singing group Happy Wanderers that performed in Leisure Village and nursing homes in the area.] I was a long time member of the Art Group, Wet Paints. My wife and I enjoyed going to plays, exploring Long Island, and filling our golden years with all the possibilities offered to us.
August 2022 I came down with a disease called GCA (Giant Cell Arteritis). This disease rendered me completely blind within one week.
I am adjusting to my loss of sight by having a positive attitude. I thank God that this happened when I was 78 yrs. old, and not before. I am able to remember what nature looks like. I know my friends faces and my wife’s - she is my Rock. [I remember the faces of my children and grandchildren from their whole lives. I am more blessed than most blind people who lost their sight early in life.]
[After I became blind,] I was very lucky when we attended a Town of Brookhaven Senior Picnic. It was there that my wife encountered SILO[, https://www.siloinc.org , ] at one of the information tables. She introduced me to a wonderful lady, Marilyn Tucci, who has since directed me to the resources that helped me to move forward, like Helen Keller, SCAT, etc.
[Since then, I have discovered many new things to assist me adjust to my new life, including] Andrew Heiskell Talking Books. They sent me a player and if I call them with a request they send me audio books. A big inspiration, “Hello Darkness my Old Friend”, was a book by Stanford D. Greenberg showing how he adapted to his blindness.
I was also lucky to find Hadley, [ https://hadley.edu/ ] an organization which enables adults with vision loss to thrive at home and in their communities by providing podcasts and short workshops giving advice from experts. They also matched me with a gentleman who also recently became blind with similar interests. We talk weekly by phone and encourage each other as we move forward.
I am accepting my loss of sight and trying to make myself acquainted with all the help available. I exercise at my gym in the morning, learned to use the Treadmill and stationary bike. [As an artist, I am working with new mediums, including clay and sculpture and learning to use blind-assist technologies on my smart phone, iPad and computer.]
[Helping others who have become recently blind is very important to me, to show them they are not alone and can live a full life. I have engaged people in my community and introduced them to SILO. My next goal is to do public speaking, educating people about Giant Cell Arteritis and helping those who are blind.]
There a many things I cannot do anymore, however with the help of God and a positive attitude, I plan on making my remaining years as enjoyable as possible.
My Motto: Survive, Adapt, And Overcome.