My name is Rahmin and I am eighteen years old. I recently graduated from a Michigan highschool with a 3.9 GPAÂ In 1990, I was diagnosed with a form of blindness called Leber’s Congenital Amaurosis, a life-long eye condition that is not subject to change. News of my condition hit both my mother and father like a title wave. Fortunately, they were blessed with the energy of recuperation, but it left a burning desire for a cure in it’s wake.
Time passed and soon, our family was blessed with another child named. My mother gave birth to her in 1992. While sweet, my younger sister has a tendency to be extremely aggressive, which can be rather frightening. Day and night, she constantly wailed for no apparent reason. Both my parents tended to her twenty four hours a day, each person taking shifts be it morning, afternoon, or evening. After a visitation to the doctor, she was also deemed blind. The desire to rectify this disability mounted, so much so that we traveled from Lebanon, the country we were born in, to the United States on April 10, 1994. Numerous people in the medical profession did not have a solution, thus a remedy for this genetic problem was never found.
Despite my visual impairment, the barriers I had to face were destroyed by braille, talking computer programs, and other devices. There is still one impenetrable door that my family and I have tried to grasp for fifteen years, but it is held in place by a lock composed of many unlucky incidents. Originally, we came here by way of a visa. However, it expired and according to various lawyers, there was nothing we could do to resolve the issue. Distraught but determined, my mother and father sought help from others, but all they received were words of hopelessness and discomfort. As they continually looked for assistance, we were placed in an elementary school that was able to provide us with equipment, education, etc. Another shock struck mom and dad like an anvil, the school that my sister was put into said that she was autistic partly because she bit, screamed, pinched, and had limited vocabulary.
In 1996, my second sister was born, but she was only blind.
Years went by and my older sister’s autism worsened considerably. I recall the frantic yells, crashes, and cries of sadness and frustration that rang throughout the house as she attacked my parents.Â Often my heart palpitated wildly, because I was afraid for everybody in the household. During a summers day in 2006, my younger sister and I hid in the bathroom due to her uncontrolled behavior. Eventually, she was placed in a rehabilitation center.Â She is making progress there, which pleases us greatly. She is learning braille, cane techniques, how to walk properly, and speech therapy.
My younger sister and I are also doing very well in school.Â In tenth grade, I took a course in Spanish and immediately loved it. Going beyond my high school’s requirements, I continued to study the language in eleventh grade. Additionally, I became a member of the jazz band and have made great friends. When I was two, I was given a small keyboard and as I grew, the keyboards matured. For the first time in my life, I went to a hotel and enjoyed the experience very much. All the band students were going to play at Central Michigan University in front of commentators as part of a jazz fest held there each year. I laughed, got nervous, and remembered the memories. Aside from playing at different concerts, I also performed three times for an organization called Access. Access helps people with translation, paperwork, tutoring, transportation, and such. I have also played for my school, another school called Star International in Dearborn Heights, and once at a wedding. In 2008, I won the academics award for CEC, which stands for Council for Exceptional Children. Overjoyed, my mom, two teachers, and friend accompanied me to Grand Rapids where I played my keyboard and received the award. Writing has been a passion of mine, so I participated in Journalism in December, and had one article published in the school’s newspaper.
Next year, I want to go to college and pursue a career in the writing or language department, but I am unable to do so because of my status in the United States. Right now, my dad is facing a court case and worry coils around my insides like a large and venomous serpent. He has been the block of stability for our family, and has never committed a crime. Believe me when I say that he epitomizes goodness in every way. A feeling of dread engulfs me whenever my thoughts stray to the upcoming event.
My mother has shed enough tears to create a river, and we grapple with fear, anger, and terror every hour, every week, and every year. We cannot vote, visit close family and relatives, or obtain SSI. Like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. we have dreams, and I do not wish to live a nightmare. I am asking for assistance, asking for reassurance, and asking for solace. Please do not deprive us because we have already been hurt enough. I beg you to take this letter into consideration, and rid us of this unholy manifestation. You will be condemning an innocent family to a terrible and undeserving fate if this note is ignored. Lift the weight off my father’s heart, and make my mother’s tears droplets of happiness. My sister and I hate listening to her anguish that results from our inability to acquire a green card or file for citizenship. The green card and citizenship papers can be used like key cards, opening the door to a slew of opportunities. Every person needs a key of success. Aren’t we people too?