The Center for Vision Loss hosted a special memorial event today in honor of one of its most popular clients, Laura Kalbach, who passed away on April 18 at the age of 32 from complications of the flu and Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome.
Held at the request of Laura’s family, the event celebrated her life and unwavering devotion to help others. Despite a variety of physical issues throughout her life – including a complete loss of vision in her left eye and greatly diminished vision in her right eye – Laura cared most about giving to others and of herself. While she was an agency client, she also volunteered frequently, helped teach a craft class with her mother, and shared her ideas with agency staff members.
In a 2016 interview, Laura said that her experiences with the Center for Vision Loss made a tremendous impact on her personally.
“The people here have been very inspiring,” Laura said at the time. “It’s good to see other people with the same sorts of impairments living their life and being okay with it. That was huge for me because I didn’t think I could be productive like this.”
Laura’s family also asked for donations in lieu of flowers to be made to the Center for Vision Loss and donated Laura’s body to science at her request.
“Laura Kalbach was much more than one of our clients with vision loss,” said Douglas Yingling, Executive Director of the Center for Vision Loss, who spoke at the memorial. “For as much as we worked to give her, she wanted to give more back to us. She absolutely embodied the spirit of personal triumphs over visual impairments that we strive to promote each day. We are honored and touched that her family chose to ask her friends and loved ones to support our mission in her memory.”