BY THE TIME native Sicilian Mariagrazia Buttitta turned twenty-six, she’d planned out the perfect life. After finishing her residency in Buongiorno Medical School, she’d be primed for a job at the prestigious Roma Hospital, the first step toward becoming an Italian Dr. Oz. And what life is complete without a handsome prince by her side, gracing the face of Italian People Magazine as one of Italy’s “Most Beautiful Couple”?
Instead, she wakes up to discover a medical diagnosis that leaves her almost completely blind. Her family, frustrated and desperate, seeks medical aid in the United States, but it comes with a steep price. Along the way, Mariagrazia must battle bullies, an obsessive lover, and her two biggest enemies: anxiety and depression. Tortured by her thoughts, she finds herself toeing the line between life and death, contemplating ending it all. As a last resort, she turns to a childhood diary of poems and creative writing to rediscover herself and the will to live … before it’s too late.
Now I See is a heart-wrenching yet humorous true tale of struggle, survival, amazing grace, unconditional love, and a fresh look at the American Dream. It’s an account of one young woman’s journey overcoming devastating odds while stumbling her way through darkness into light.
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About the Author
A native Sicilian-Italian speaker, Mariagrazia Buttitta is currently pursuing a master’s degree in clinical mental health counseling from The College of New Jersey. Mariagrazia speaks to college students and organizations about her blindness, along with her long-term battle with depression and anxiety. In 2015, Mariagrazia founded an Instagram social media campaign, the (#YSS) Your Sunglass Selfie Project, using the hashtag #eye4acure in an effort to tear down stigma and negative assumptions held about the many different types of blindness that exist, including her own cone dystrophy. When not working, Mariagrazia loves spending quality time with family and friends, hiking, collecting sunglasses, exercising, shopping, and hanging out with her two therapy dogs, Happy and Lucky. Her one true weakness—espresso . . . and lots of it. www.embracingyourdifferences.com