Woman overcomes challenges with blindness to inspire those overcoming addiction

Posted at 5:35 AM, Jan 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-12 08:47:56-05

MILWAUKEE — The pandemic is making it even harder for those struggling with addiction or mental health disorders.

We share the incredible odds a woman overcame in her own life to be able to help others.

“I think I went blind to be able to help someone else,” said Shalene Fayne, Peer Support Specialist for Our Space, Inc. at The Commons on Beloit Road in Milwaukee.

At first, you might think Shalene Fayne is living with a disability, but she calls it her superpower, “Because I don’t have a disability, I have an extraordinary ability.”

Our Space Inc. helps people living with mental illness and substance abuse challenges. Her ability to connect with people in supportive housing known as The Commons comes from a past that includes prison time.

“I was very angry, very upset,” Fayne recalls. “It gave me a chip on my shoulder.”

She was also the victim of domestic violence and lost two children, “Life dealt me another blow and I started to see brown spots in my eye and started to lose my eyesight.”

She was diagnosed with Pseudotumor cerebri which required surgery, “And then after that, 11 days, I was totally blind.”

She turned the obstacle into an opportunity to change her life. She received an associate's degree at MATC and a bachelor’s degree at Alverno College.

Fayne said, “You can do anything you put your mind to despite your extraordinary ability never let anyone doubt you you are a strong individual.”

Here is your Rebound Rundown:

  • Our Space Inc. has full-time residences like The Commons.
  • There is also a 7-day program and Walk-in programs
  • There are peer support programs to get you the help you need to meet you where you are at
  • Learn more by clicking here

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