Blindness Awareness Month: A Macaroni KID Publisher's Story!

Macaroni KID Publishers come with so many back stories, and this just happens to be mine!

By Kierstan Ellis October 12, 2023

October is Blindness Awareness month, and as a publisher with vision loss, I felt it worthy to show how I overcome my degenerative blindness daily! 

(In case you didn't know, anyone who has vision loss that is beyond correction and effects more than their acuity is considered "blind" in legal/social terms.)

Retinitis Pigmentosa is the disease that both my mother and I have. I was diagnosed at age thirteen, and I've been on a perpetual journey of adaptation ever since. My eye disease is degenerative, meaning it causes my sight to deteriorate over the course of my life. There is no rhyme-or-reason as to when my eyesight will take a hit, it just happens. Now that I have brought my two daughters into this world, I am faced with testing them as well to find out if they have the disease too (they have a 50/50 chance); a whole other rollercoaster of emotions there...

The photos within this article are of my former guide dog, Katie and I. Katie lived a great 9 years with me as my best friend! I received her from Southeastern Guide Dogs in Palmetto, FL. If you would like to know more information about her guide dog school, visit They are always looking for sponsors and puppy raisers! If you have questions about how the process goes of getting a guide dog, you can always email me at 

Given the season of life that I am currently in, my new Macaroni Mama identity has been a true lifesaver. A new found sense of confidence and innovation have rushed over me, and describing it as thankful doesn't even suffice. A publisher's job at Macaroni KID is intense, time-consuming, and requires a lot of thought and planning. 

For a publisher like me, it requires even more time, planning, and effort. What takes a typical publisher a few minutes to accomplish, might take me a little longer. I can't drive, so I have to have a very planned out schedule based on when I can receive assistance. Sales tactics for me may look a little different at times, because I won't necessarily be the one going door-to-door; this allows me to be more creative and persistent about how I run my Macaroni KID business. The opportunity to be challenged and overcome those challenges has been well-worth it for me. 

I jumped in head-first like every other publisher on Macaroni KID, and I don't regret it! My confidence has sky rocketed, and I am finding that I am capable of more than what I originally thought. Molded into a marketing mind, creativity pulsing through my veins, and a true skill of relationship building have been ignited for me. Things I felt excelled at before, but tucked away for quite some time after becoming a Stay-at-Home Mom! 

Needless to say, if you are disabled and you wonder if Macaroni KID would be doable for you - I say, go for it! You never know what doors this opportunity may open for you, and I always think the sky is the limit! 

I am proud to be a partcipiant, and reason, that Blindness Awareness month exists! 

In the spirit of advocacy, read on for some important blindness facts: 

  • Only an estimated 2-8% of the blind community use a white cane, the rest rely on guide dogs, sighted guides (a person helping them), or their residual vision. ( 
  • There are an estimated 10,000 guide teams working in the US right now, but that still only makes up about 2% of the blind population that uses guide dogs (
  • It is recorded that there are 7+ million people in the US that are blind/visually impaired. ( And there are 1.1 Billion people around the world dealing with vision loss too. ( 
  • 90% of vision loss is preventable/treatable (this means that those like me with incurable genetic inheritance is a much smaller percentage of these totals) ( 
  • Of the population that we deem completely blind, only 10-15% of them actually see nothing at all. Many retain light perception and actually see something. ( 

For Your Further Reading/Resources cited above (The first link is highly interesting!): 

10 Little Known Facts About Blindness: 

Blindness Statistics: 

Avoidable Blindness: 

Southeastern Guide Dogs 

If you want to know more about how I handle my blindness in motherhood/daily life, feel free to follow me over on my TikTok @KMama_20!