Denver Chapter Featured Volunteer
Over the years, we’ve watched Miranda grow and accomplish so much! After graduating with honors from St. May’s Academy in Englewood, she was accepted into St. Peter’s College of Oxford University (UK) and began studying Archeology and Anthropology in October of 2017. She is a champion Irish Dancer who has competed in both solo dances and group choreography with the Irish Step Dancers of Colorado. She also plays guitar, mastering Flamenco and Celtic music.
Miranda also happens to have a genetic condition known as Stargardt, a form of juvenile macular degeneration that is caused by a gene mutation and affects central vision. Diagnosed at age 10 when she could not make out the big "E" on the eye charts, Miranda's vision quickly went from 20/60 to 20/200--legally blind. Light sensitivity gradually became so severe that, now, Miranda can't be without her sunglasses, even when she's competing and dancing on stage. She uses assistive technology as sophisticated as CCTVs and screen readers and as simple as a dome magnifier or large print to help her with her studies. She recently added the use of a white cane to navigate her way around campus and especially at airports when she travels back and forth from Denver to England. She affectionately named her cane “Floyd” (because of it having a pink handle!). Miranda also created a blog: THE STARGARDIAN, Navigating Life in the Sighted World, https://stargardtian.wordpress.com/, where she shares aspects and situations of her life with humor and deep insight (pardon the pun!).
Miranda has been involved with the Colorado VisionWalk for several years, and co-captains her own team, "Miranda Means Miracle" pictured here at the 2015 Colorado VisionWalk.
In addition, the Loughry family sponsors the "Sunglasses Special" at the McTeggart Fall Feis (Irish Dance Competition), a category where all the dancers are asked to wear and dance with fun sunglasses, in support of Miranda. 100% of the entry fees go directly to Miranda's VisionWalk Team.
A story about Miranda, her dance troupe and their support of Foundation Fighting Blindness (“Dancing For Sight”) was recently featured in the online version of an international Irish Dance Magazine.
According to Miranda, “Stargardt is not a disability, it is an inconvenience. Blindness builds my character and makes me stronger and more empathetic.” Perhaps we can add: more thoughtful and an inspiration to others of her age! Stargardt will not stop Miranda Loughry from achieving her dreams and having a wonderful, full life!
IDM – Dancing for Sight January 2016
Link to Miranda and the Dance Troupe at the 2015 Colorado VisionWalk
Link to Miranda Dancing at the 2014 Colorado VisionWalk
Link to Miranda and Carmen Swick (Chapter President) on ABC News: