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Blind Missourians decry cuts

Blind Missourians decry cuts

May 8th, 2012 in News

Gretchen Maune graduated from Blue Springs High School about a decade ago and then went to the University of Missouri in Columbia - and now she's doing graduate work in MU's Harry S Truman School of Public Affairs.

"I'd like to be a legislator some day," she said. "I want to try to make change happen and make things easier for people with disabilities."

Five years ago, a disease - Leber's hereditary optic neuropathy - robbed her of her sight.

"It hit when I was just about 24 years old," Maune told a reporter. "Within a month, I was legally blind - and it kept getting worse after that."

Today she can see light and dark, and "some big shapes, sometimes," and she gets around with the help of a guide dog.

"I can tell you that the last thing it was, was easy," she told reporters Monday morning, gathered on the South Capitol steps with 11 blind Missourians who were explaining - one more time - why legislative proposals to cancel or trim a special health care program are a bad idea.