Love might be blind, but a Strandfontein couple – who happen to be blind themselves – are proof that it doesn’t have to be boring.
Sharon and Adrian Davids, who got married on Saturday September 1, first met at the Society for the Blind in Salt River in 2014 when Sharon was a student and Adrian, a facilitator.
“Adrian was a student in 2009. He was the first South African to receive the International Computer Driving Licence for Microsoft Office. In 2014 I became a student and met Adrian who was a facilitator at the time. I could not stand him at first. As time went by we became close friends,” Sharon recalled.
Exactly a year before, when they got engaged, Adrian made sure it was an engagement to remember. “The fact that I am blind, I had to find a very unique way of proposing because I could not scribble on a page or send her a video clip,” he said.
So, he decided to ask Sharon, who is visually impaired, in a quiz, sending her questions via Whatsapp. And one of the rules was that Sharon was not allowed to contact Adrian while he was sending her the questions.
“He asked me things like what’s my favourite colour, my favourite food and with each question that was correct, I received a prize. I won a picnic, a beautiful top, some chocolates and more. The last question needed only one answer,” she said.
When she arrived at his place later that day, Adrian reminded her of that one last question, and told her only one answer could unlock the contents of the box he held in front of her. “On bended knee, he popped the question and asked me to marry him. I shook my head, forgetting that he couldn’t see, and I said yes.”
“We’ve got one shot in life to do what we need to do. Sometimes we wake up in the morning and say ‘bleh’ but we prefer to wake up in the morning and say ‘yeah’,” said Adrian.
“We like going to the movies even though we are blind. We often hear, ‘what are blind people doing in the movies, or why do they have a dog in the cinema?’ but that doesn’t stop us from living our lives and having fun,” said Sharon.
Against all odds they have managed to put their wedding together.
“Being a visually impaired bride was hard,” said Sharon. “Coming from a sighted world and losing my sight slowly is difficult for me to comprehend. Planning my wedding wasn’t easy either but we made it work and God kept us.”
Sharon has a genetic disease called retinitis pigmentosa, an eye disease which results in the back wall of the eye (retina) being damaged. It is hereditary but she is the only one in her family affected by it.
She was 24 when she found out she had this disease, but she had suspected before then that something was wrong, she said.
Adrian became blind at the age of 10, the result of hydrocephalus, a build-up of fluid (water) in the cavities deep within the brain.
Sharon is saving for a clinical trial but needs 1 000 pounds (nearly R20 000) to travel to Manchester, in the UK, where the trial is being conducted.
While there is no cure for her condition, she said, the clinical trial involves genetic testing which will determine whether she is eligible to undergo a procedure which could potentially restore her eyesight.
Adrian and Sharon live with Sharon’s parents in Strandfontein because it is comfortable and safe for them but they do plan to move out on their own when they find a safe and secure place with accessible public transport.
They like doing things on their own and mostly manage without any help for daily living. “I can do my hair, make tea or coffee, I will find a way even if it is different to everybody else, I will find a way and manage,” said Sharon
“I asked him one day, what he would do if he can see again. He said that he would be blind any day because if he wasn’t blind he would have never met me. This moved me. Going completely blind is scary enough but knowing that Adrian loves me regardless makes me feel so loved,” she said.