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I'm a blind writer, and I need help.

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My name is Matt Rossi and I'm a freelance writer, been freelancing professionally since 2000 or so. You can find my work on Amazon --

I've been able to work fairly productively over the past two decades, but life and complications have made the current situation untenable. I've tried to find a way through this purely through my own efforts, and I have not been successful.

Back in 2016, I was diagnosed with retinopathy.

My type of retinopathy is diabetic -- I'm in treatment for it, and the progress of the disorder has been slowed significantly, which I'm extremely grateful for, but it's a progressive disorder and my vision loss has been ongoing. I've also developed severe light sensitivity and lost the majority of my peripheral vision, so I have a difficult time navigating a space I don't know well and often walk into objects, injuring myself. I managed to continue working from that diagnosis until recently with minimal disruption. But even so, I knew I wasn't able to write as I had before.

Now, after COVID (and my recent infection with the virus) and several years of being treated for my Retinopathy, my family and I have moved into a new home, and things were starting to potentially stabilize for us.

Now, this is a GoFundMe, so we know I'm about to say "but" here.

Frankly, over the past year my eyesight has gotten worse, I've had several bleed events, and my light sensitivity has gotten to the point where I often can't work with the light on in my office. Considering I write on a computer with a glowing screen, even taking steps like dark mode only lessens the pain a small bit. Then, on top of that, during Christmas 2023, I lost my primary source of income, a job I've worked for years.

In the past, when life got beyond my ability to manage it alone, my friends have always told me I should set up a GoFundMe, usually I hesitate too long and have to be browbeaten into it. I'm currently trying to get some form of disability assistance but that process could take months or longer and the prospect of becoming homeless or unable to pay our grocery bills for extended periods of time is looming with no immediate way to stave off disaster - if I even qualify, and the current government has placed all disability applications on indefinite hold. I have ideas for creative projects that might help -- a new novel, perhaps a podcast -- but trying to sit down and doing all that work while also trying to scrape up enough money to survive is a catch-22; I can't write while stressed, and I can't stop stressing to write and earn money while I'm stressed about money. And it's worse because of how much I have to work to get around being blind.

And so here I am asking for your help. I realize how bad things are for a lot of people -- heck, the reason I'm in this situation is also the reason so many others are. I would not ask, if I could avoid doing so.

Thank you for reading this.


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Julianna Rossi
Edmonton, AB

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