What happens if you made your lemonade out of the lemons given but years later the pitcher breaks?
If you are like Kevin Frankeberger, you pick up the pitcher and refabricate it with a new batch of juice! Many have made the proverbial “lemonade out of lemons” but to do it twice in one lifetime is a different kind of feat.
Born with congenital Nystagmus, Kevin prospered with the limited sight he had. He performed perfectly through graduate school, spent years as a development officer for the Boy Scouts of America, went on to be the assistant vice president at the oldest historically Black college in America and then had his own fund development firm that helped to build battered women’s shelters, children’s hospitals, a private Jewish Academy and so on. Next he was to run for Congress.
That never happened though. A car accident in 1995 left him in chronic pain along with his blindness. He could no longer work and support his family and those of his employees. The family finances went to pay medical bills. The home was lost. His marriage ended. Life itself almost ended at his own hands.
Five years later, Kevin stopped merely existing and began living again. Teamed with his first guide dog, the blindness issue almost went away in terms of getting around safely. He immersed himself into public transportation options. Kevin began speaking about his experiences, the impact of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the importance of “working from the heart” and, the inspiration he got from his then teenaged children to find help for his chronic pain and to live again! Always at his side, Dr. Frankeberger’s stories about his beloved dog guide entertain and delight.
Kevin’s story is one of strength and courage, twice. At times humorous, at times emotional but always motivating, this story of a man who is blind who then had to overcome yet another (and hidden) disability to live again proves that the human spirit is strong enough to make as much lemonade as life presents lemons. As Kevin says, “Sometimes, the pitcher just has to be redesigned a tad.”
Dr. Frankeberger was dubbed a “national transit success story” by Easter Seals Project ACTION and has been featured in many national publications. His story and that of his dog guide will soon be released in book format with co-author and his dog guide’s puppy raiser Liisa Kyle.