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The Making of "I Once Was Blind"

  • Broadcast in Health
Powerful Patient

Powerful Patient


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In August at the Providence, Rhode Island, International Film Festival, Joyce was privileged to view the first ever showing of a new documentary film "I Once Was Blind" by Charlene and Jeffrey Chapman. They filmed and documented Maureen's life for seven years, then boiled it down to 75 minutes. Many thanks to the Chapmans for creating this film, and to Maureen for letting us all into her life.

Recently Joyce had a chance to meet with Charlene and Jeff to talk about their experience in documenting Maureen's life with von Hippel-Lindau (VHL), her kidney transplant, and the course of her life in general.


The documentary I Once Was Blind witnesses the transformation of a young woman as she battles for her life and independence over a period of almost ten years. With humor and faith she wrestles blindness, kidney failure, and the discovery of her new husband's addiction. Refusing to succumb to the crushing circumstances of her life she leaves family and friends, travels 1700 miles for mobility training, and becomes Residential Manager of the Colorado Center for the Blind.

Interestingly, Joyce interviewed Maureen and her brother Ed four years ago, following the kidney transplant which is documented in this film as well, and we ran an article about them in the VHL Newsletter. It was great to meet them in person at the showing in Providence!  Ed is the YouTube comedian Ed Bassmaster.

As background,  you can listen to that interview at http://www.powerfulpatient.org/the-perfect-gift-kidney-transplant/