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Kent Mom, Son Need Sponsors for Deaf-Blind Walk-a-thon

Money raised supports the Ohio Association of the Deaf-Blind

Angela Orlando wants to walk a mile.

For most, that distance may not sound like much.

"But it is a big goal when you consider the nature of my disabilities," Orlando said.

Orlando has been diagnosed with Usher syndrome, which causes hearing loss, night blindness and loss of peripheral vision. She also has Guillain-Barre syndrome, which is a disorder that causes the body's immune system to mistakenly attack parts of the nervous system and cause muscle weakness.

Coupled with more common afflictions such as fibromyalgia, tendonitis and carpel tunnel and you start to understand why walking a mile is challenging for Orlando.

Saturday she'll join her son, Joseph, and hundreds of other deaf and blind Ohioans at the annual Ohio Association of the Deaf-Blind Walk-a-Thon near Columbus. The Orlandos are looking for people and companies to sponsor them during the walk, as all proceeds benefit the statewide organization for the deaf and blind.

Orlando said there's no limit to the number of sponsors or amount of money that can be donated.

"This money will be used for future events and conferences, as well as assisting with developing an SSP Pilot Program in Ohio," she said. "SSP means Support Services Providers. They are the 'eyes and ears' for people who are deaf-blind."

The support service providers help with a variety of tasks including guiding while walking, finding rooms or objects, facilitating communication, driving to appointments, assisting with shopping, reading mail and much more, Orlando said.

Orlando, who is an avid blogger and writes about her conditions, said she is taking part in the walk-a-thon to raise awareness of the deaf-blind community and show others what they're capable of.

"I am totally deaf, blind and physically impaired," she said. "Most people would never consider that I can do a walk-a-thon. But I'm determined to succeed, even if it takes me longer than others."

To become a sponsor, contact Orlando via email at neodba.info@gmail.com.

angie orlando May 18, 2012 at 03:50 PM
I amm feeling pretty good. A year ago, I was diagnosed with a rare genetic disease called PHARC. This one disease is responsible for all my symptoms. There is no cure. But with the right meds, physical therapy and massage therapy, I am feeling better than I have in a long time. I'm very excited about the walk-a-thon.
Matt Fredmonsky May 18, 2012 at 05:04 PM
It's going to be a beautiful weekend for it. Have fun!
Sophie Gadgets May 18, 2012 at 06:01 PM
I wish I could be there to participate, but I wish you guys much success!
Kassandra Ulrich May 20, 2012 at 03:58 PM
Angie, hope the walk went well. I had Guillian Barre Syndrome 31 years ago. Now I'm on the Board of Directors for the GBS/CIDP Foundation International. May is GBS awareness month. Thanks for getting the word out to the public. Kassandra Ulrich

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