The inspiration behind my work originated with a remarkable and beautiful young lady – my niece, Sophie. Our family is very grateful that God has chosen to bless us with such a precious angel. Sophie was born in New Orleans, Louisiana on October 28, 1996 with a rare genetic disorder called Fraser Syndrome. One aspect of Fraser Syndrome is a condition called Cryptopthalmos, which means “hidden eye.” Sophie’s Cryptopthalmos meant that she had skin covering both eyes.
During the first 18 months of her life, many surgeries were performed attempting to give Sophie a chance to see. Although the surgeries may have been unsuccessful, Sophie has not allowed her blindness to become a handicap. Instead, she has accomplished much more than many average youngsters of her age. Her extraordinary pursuit of learning will no doubt be an awesome life to witness.
Sophie is now 18 years old and a high school graduate. She graduated Honors with a 4.655 GPA and received a full scholarship to her college. She is a brilliant young lady and she is thrilled to begin this new adventure. Sophie is a truly gifted writer and has several books already written- some of which I expect will be published very soon. I can not wait to see where her college studies will take her but I have no doubt it will astound us all – just as her accolades thus far have. Nickelodeon’s Nick News produced a show titled ‘Out of Sight’, which featured Sophie. More information can be read here: Spotlight on Sophie Trist
‘BRAILLE’iant! began while I was trying to come up with a gift for my sweet Sophie. One thing lead to another, and, with Sophie’s Braille expertise, she has helped me create cute, useful gifts and accessories for the blind or visually impaired. My goal is to promote Braille awareness as well as make available to the blind or visually impaired, fun, sassy items that they can actually read and use. Thank you for your support! Thank you, Sophie, for all of your help with this process!
Sophie’s incredible, nurturing mother and my sister, Allison, has allowed me to share one of Sophie’s poems. It only took Sophie a few minutes to write the following:
I feel like I could run, run I say and be free
To a land where happiness is
I’m running over deep blue sky with those eyes which
Do not see. I have eyes inside of me.
They see what you do not.
They see deeper than that. They see the truth.
They see the soul within you.
They shine bright just like a light, soft and gentle,
Sweet and kind.
Trying to show the way for you.
By Sophie, Age 10
November 22, 2006