When growing up, I thought my curly-hair-self was all I needed to conquer the world, as one suffering from glaucoma. I entered a number of beauty pageants and won several, such as Miss Norfolk Teen USA. But it wasn't until I served (twice) as a Youth Missionary in India working in an Aids Clinic for Children and in a Leprosy Colony that I learned more about life. These individuals enjoyed watching the sun rise in the morning and always found something to be thankful for. I will treasure their memories forever in my heart!

Being visually-handicapped didn’t keep me from getting a college degree. I graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice and Asian Martial Arts from Radford University. I’ve worked as a pool lifeguard, a swim coach, a wrestling coach, and a track and field coach. But my love has been working in the area of special education. In addition, I am a trained Market Partner for MONAT GLOBAL, specializing in hair and skin care and a healthy lifestyle. My goal is to share a bit of wisdom I've learned in my own journey and that if you believe in yourself, then anything is possible, including inner beauty.

In my first book, “Submit: Mystery, Christian Romance, and Wrestling, Too,” the main character, Kat, had lost her mother in a car accident. So, it’s just her father and her. Kat is a member of her high school’s wrestling team and she happens to be the only girl. Much like myself, I, too, was the only female wrestler on my high school’s team.

Despite being tough and a bit feminine, too, Kat is very religious. In the story, Kat remembers her mother quoting a bible verse about how powerful love is, while on a camping trip they had as family. Here’s the verse:
1 Corinthians 13:4-5: “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs."

I wanted Kat to be tough, strong, but also a believer in God, “that all things are possible through God’s love.” I joined my high school wrestling team to prove to myself that I can climb mountains, despite so much diversity, especially when it came to being a female and having, a complicated disability.

I wasn’t properly diagnosed as having glaucoma, until the age of ten. I was very lucky to receive treatment and keep my eyesight, except that I had live with photophobia, which is under the umbrella term, “visual processing disorder.”

My second book, “My Curly Hair Self: Living with a Visual Processing Disorder,” is my true-life story of having this disorder and how I persevered through my faith in God and a belief in myself.

Sometimes, when I find myself dealing with uncomfortable or challenging situations, I pray. The power of prayer helps me to vision more clearly what I should be grateful for and to accept what I cannot change. Yet, I know it’s much easier to deal with change or to be grateful for the simple things in life, when I’m feeling good and that can only happen when I eat right. That’s the reason ‘why’ I share my articles about superfoods, health, and beauty. After all, if we don’t have our health, then what do we have?

My second book: My Curly Hair Self: Living with a Visual Processing Disorder

Author's Bio: 

Kelley is the author of two books:
Submit: Mystery, Christian Romance, and Wrestling, Too
My Curly Hair Self: Living a Visual Processing Disorder