HENRICO COUNTY, Va. -- Christine Spiller’s life changed in an instant nine years ago when a botched doctor’s procedure caused her to go blind at the age of 32.
"He put the injection too far back," Spiller said. "And so when he released the medicine, it crystallized and burnt my retina and optic nerve, and I lost it right away. As soon as he put it in, I knew it was wrong."
Despite the unimaginable loss, the Henrico County woman has vowed to live life to the fullest.
"I've never really felt sorry for myself,” she said. "It's oddly made me more adventurous and ambitious and less fearful."
Spiller depends on family and best friends like Trever Cobb.
"She is the most caring person I know," Cobb said. "She thinks more of other people than she thinks of herself."
Cobb looks to Spiller for inspiration.
“She does things like you or I do, she just has a different way of doing it -- and it my take a little while longer," Cobb explained.
Spiller lives independently with her four-legged companion, but Gunner is anything but a seeing eye dog.
"She keeps me busy. She knows I’m blind. She plays blind tricks on me," Spiller explained.
The J.R. Tucker graduate has become a licensed massage therapist since she lost her sight.
"It's a pretty good profession for a blind chick," Spiller admitted. "I tell my friends they’re so lucky because they’ll be 30 years old in my mind forever."
Spiller works five days at a spa and from her home.
“(The Sign) says down at the bottom in braille, 'See through my hands,'" Spiller said. "And that is how I work because everything is through my touch."
Every year on the anniversary of losing her sight, Spiller Christine celebrates what she calls her "Blindiversary."
That is when loved ones wear masks to simulate blindness in solidarity.
"I came up with the idea about how fun much fun would it be having a party where everyone was blindfolded," Spiller said. "I will take any opportunity to have people together."
Spiller is now showing the world how to life in a new way.
"I've just got too much other good stuff going on to worry about what I'm missing," Spiller said. "I have a pretty good life. I’m pretty happy."
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