Listener Spotlight: Peter Larson
By: Joel Scott
Peter Larson is the featured listener in this listener spotlight. Peter, who is 60, has lived in Louisville for over 40 years. He is a native of Warren, OH and also lived in New York City, Cleveland, and western Pennsylvania before settling in Louisville. He worked at Plumbers Supply Company in Louisville for 22 years.
Peter has been listening to Radio Eye for about two years. He first heard about it from a counselor at the Charles W. McDowell Rehabilitation Center in Louisville. He leaves his radio on all the time. He always makes an effort to be listening when the Louisville Courier Journal is read and also loves to listen to book readings.
Peter is legally blind. He has Leberâ€™s hereditary optic neuropathy (LHON). Leberâ€™s neuropathy is a condition passed from mothers to children through mitochondrial DNA. It causes the degeneration of retinal ganglion cells and axons. Although both sons and daughters of a carrier mother inherit the DNA for the condition, it primarily affects young males. After a drawn out process of eliminating one possibility for his vision loss after another, Peterâ€™s LHON was finally diagnosed after a DNA test at the Cincinnati Eye Institute.
Peter has lived in Louisvilleâ€™s Clifton neighborhood since before he started losing his vision. Clifton is a good place for a visually impaired person to be. The sidewalks have raised areas for detection by guide canes and the restaurants have menus in Braille. â€œI guess God put me here for a reason,â€ Peter says.
In December Peter suffered the loss of his wife, Eleanor Schultz Larson. He is an active participant in Gildaâ€™s Club, a support community for people living with cancer and their families. He also listens to the Hope and Inspiration program Radio Eye airs.