Mt. Vernon Register-News

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September 19, 2013

Disabled man keeps positive attitude

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Eventually, after his diagnosis, Zeke had to quit his job as a tote lifter at Walgreens because his vision kept getting worse.

The most difficult thing to adjust to, Zeke said, has been not being able to drive anymore.

“The thing that really bothered me the most was driving,” Zeke said. “Everything, I have to rely on somebody. To go to the barbershop or the dentist or the doctor, you don’t realize how much you rely on a car.”

Early on, Zeke’s family would take him to St. Louis for medical treatments, sometimes twice a week.

“It was rough in the beginning because we didn’t know what was going on — emotionally, mentally, obviously physically — for him,” said Ashley Hoffman, Zeke’s stepdaughter. “It’s such a life-changing thing to happen.”

Zeke used to attend a support group for blind people in Jefferson County, which helped a great deal, Hoffman said.

“He made a lot of friends doing that,” Hoffman said.

Now, with the retaining wall project nearly behind him, Zeke is looking forward to tackling other repair jobs.

Next on the agenda will likely be fixing the air-conditioner in Cheryl’s car, which is malfunctioning. Zeke will work on that project with his stepson, Matthew Piercy.

Cheryl said Zeke’s positive attitude throughout his ordeal has been inspiring.

“It’s never really seemed to get him down,” Cheryl said. “He’s done very well with it. I know if this were me, I wouldn’t have done nearly as well with it.”

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