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Help Karen use music to see and hear again.
$1,817 raised
18% of $10k goal
47 contributors
87 Days running
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I am Karen Lewellen.

I am hoping you will help me see and hear again using music and other cutting edge medical techniques.   My goal is to find 1,000 people willing to give $10 for a total of 10,000 dollars,
by February  18th.

For some of you reading this page, my story is familiar. Growing up in Jonesboro Arkansas, legally blind with no medical diagnosis since childhood, with my life reflecting the conflict between what I believed was possible for me, and what others insisted were foolish hopes.  Struggling yet determined to show that brilliance and creativity overcomes most any obstacle. Staggering sometimes under the weight of stereotypical assumptions and limited ideas others saw without seeing me. That long list of you will never be do or have anything because of my score on an eye chart. That is until I began rewriting those melodies of misery with music! I started singing at age 4 and never stopped.  In kindergarten and Ms. Waddell's fifth grade classroom.  As the opening and closing act for my dad Rev. Dr. Herman Lewellen, in countless churches across the mid-south.  Adding musical joy to celebrations, bringing comfort at tragic times.    Concert stages and tiny clubs, from New York to California, Washington DC. to Toronto over the years.   My voice often did what nothing else could do for me.  Music dissolved barriers, music encouraged people to ask and learn instead of assume and judge.  Music let me connect engage and bond in spite of stereotypes about legal blindness.

You can enjoy samples of my music here.

My world began to turn gray, though, in 1992.  During an eye surgery I was given too much anesthetic, resulting in a slight stroke.  Slowly I started having problems understanding speech,
difficulties speaking clearly myself, and sometimes even trouble hearing music correctly. The tests to diagnose my issue did not even exist at the time. And boy did we hunt!  Traditional hearing exams only produced confusion, conventional hearing aids made matters worse.  I would follow part of a sentence and miss the rest suddenly be enable to articulate a word, with my visual field clouded by unexplained scar tissue. Finally in 2003 NYU medical center captured my brain rapidly dashing around seeking a functional neural channel in a small section less than the size of a quarter.  The parts of my brain manage music while unharmed in general suffering when stress was greatest.   Factor in a rape, a bout of homelessness, and the death of my father, one of the very few to loved me unconditionally, and you may understand just how stressful my life became. Enter Dr. Norman Doidge and his book The Brain’s Way of Healing   and medical miracles even I could not imagine...which is truly saying a lot!  The science is called neural plasticity, and you can read more about these fantastic discoveries here.

For me specifically, the medical  opportunities include using laser light, the techniques comparative to the lasers used in eye
surgery, possibly teaching my brain  that it need not  produce scar tissue behind my eyes.  David Webber cured himself of legal blindness using Feldenkrais and other Neuroplasticity Methods.  He could teach me the same. Most exciting of all for me though? The work of Paul Madaule and the Listening Center!  Paul uses music to redefine the brain's listening abilities.   Magic for me since I already know that my brain responds to music like nothing else. I consider it an amazing blessing that all three of these medical avenues are  within 25 minutes  of me here in Toronto. I am beyond hopeful at the prospects ahead for me, the chances to see and hear again, to make music and a difference for  others.

My late father believed that I could do anything I desired.  He certainly shouted his faith in me every chance he got, and I desire fortifying his faith with albums and books.  We can no longer afford the division’s limitations and stereotypes we allow to define our world and those we think are different from ourselves.  Once  healed I intend using my music and storytelling to guide all I can  towards a deeper understanding of all we have  in common, a greater appreciation of the ways we can  defy all perceived limitations.

My healing possibilities though depend on you! Will you please donate $10 towards my $10,000 goal?  Will you open the door to conversations for me once again?  Will you please help me appreciate sunsets, oceans, faces and films, moonlight and mountains once more?  Will you lay the foundation for me to change the world with your $10? 

Even if you cannot contribute, I hope you will consider sharing my link with your own network.

Please be the first note in my new song of healing possibilities!

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