Helping Hands

Laura Banjo’s 20 year old son Ashe Banjo was diagnosed with a degenerative eye disease called Picture of Ashe Banjo, age 20.keratoconus. The disease caused a rapid decline in his eyesight  in both eyes with corneal scarring within two months of his diagnosis. The medication for treatment of this rare disease is not always covered by insurance.

Laura contacted Jane Dunhamn of NBDC for resources and suggestions on how to get access to funding. NBDC gave valuable resources to Laura and her son. Laura was able to get the medication and the  procedure approved without  any out of pocket costs. Ashe received a cross-linking procedure to slow down the progression of the disease, and he will subsequently receive a corneal transplant operation by doctors at the Wilmur eye Institute.

NBDC sponsored Krystle Allen, Founder of Eyes Like Mine, for an international internship and supported her as an intermediary for a ADA lawsuit.

Krystle graduated from college and has gone on to establish Eyes Like Mine, an organization by and for Black blind women.

Ethel Parris Gainer sought out NBDC shortly after her stroke.  We were able to provide a foundation of support and information on disability funding streams, services and identity.  Ms. Gainer went on to Photo of Ethel Paris Gainercomplete her PhD program. 

Dr. Gainer is now an ordained minister and the Chair of the Virginia Council on Developmental Disabilities.