Imagine being blind and having to navigate through life in a world that sometimes isn’t the easiest for blind people to navigate through. Now add in a sudden pandemic called COVID-19 and imagine trying to navigate through that. Oh, and then add in that the person you are living with, in love with, and your “go-to” is also legally blind.
Welcome to the world of Dalesha and Manny, a legally blind couple living in Springfield, Illinois who started a YouTube channel entitled “Dalesha’s Life” which shares the day-to-day life, achievements and sometimes struggles of being one of the America’s only legally blind interracial couples.
Through their YouTube channel and social media, the inspiring pair are showing everyone now that if they can get through this Coronavirus period – cleaning items, cooking, grocery shopping, etc. – while legally blind, so can they! The two believe that by opening up their life for everyone to see will help in beginning to change those misconceptions some have about blind people… and they couldn’t be more right!
The Levity Ball chatted with the couple to find out more about how their love story and life now came to be.
1. Everyone loves a good love story. Tell us how the two of you met?
In the fall of 2007, as we walked down the hall to our next class, a mutual friend of ours introduced us. About a month later, as we were all hanging out together, we thought it was a good idea to exchange phone numbers. Before going to bed for the night, we’d call each other and pretty quickly we realized that we had a connection that went beyond friendship. We didn’t want to rush into anything too quickly so we kept talking for about a year until we finally decided that we should make it official.
2. How long were you two dating before you decided to move in together?
About four years. Honestly speaking though, if we could have moved in together sooner, we probably would have. We wanted to make sure we had a nice, safe place to live before taking that big step.
3. How does it feel to have the “label” as being one of America’s only blind and interracial couples? Do you wear that with a badge of honor or what do you hope comes from this label society has put out there?
We love it! We have always known that we were a unique pair and we are so happy that America is letting us show how much we love each other. We know that there are many other couples out there that, in their own way, are just as unique. By sharing our relationship with the public, we hope to show that “unique” or “different” doesn’t have to be a negative thing.
4. All relationships have their obstacles, but is it even more difficult sometimes being with someone who is legally blind?
That’s a great question. Over the years, we have both been confronted with many obstacles in life—both individually and as a couple. Our belief has always been that a couple can overcome any obstacle as long as they have each other. Since we both are legally blind, we are able to support each other on a deeper level and have a natural understanding of what the other person is feeling when life presents us with new obstacles.
5. When did you decide to start a YouTube channel, and what are your goals with it?
In the summer of 2016, Dalesha decided to start recording our day-to-day life as a legally blind, interracial couple because she wanted the world to see that despite our differences when compared with other couples, we were just like everybody else. In early 2019, after we had talked it over many times, we realized that what we really wanted was to make this our life’s mission. Soon after, Manny decided to leave his office job so that we could work together, full-time, at sharing our life and our love with the world through our YouTube channel.
6. What is your advice to other people who are legally blind and trying to get through this COVID-19 time of uncertainty?
We’re so glad you asked. The best advice that we can give, that has helped us more than anything else, is to stay positive. Pushing ourselves to see the glass as half full, rather than half empty, has really made this difficult situation less stressful for us. Reminding ourselves that everybody, not just us, is struggling right now has also allowed us to keep a proper perspective during these trying times.
7. What are you both most looking forward to after the lockdown?
That’s a tough one! If we had to narrow it down though, it would probably come down to two things. More than anything, we miss being able to go visit and spend time with our families. We both agree that there is nothing quite like spending time with loved ones. Oh and as for that second thing, well, we really miss going out to eat at our favorite Italian restaurant too!
8. What do you want your story as a couple and videos as a team to be remembered for many, many years down the line when people look back?
Again, many things come to mind and picking just one is very difficult. More than anything, we want the world to see that two people of different races, who were both born legally blind, can still find true love and happiness.
9. And final question: Have you ever been to New York, and if so, where are some of your favorite spots in the city?
Oh yes, we both loved New York when we visited! Sadly, we’ve only gotten to visit a few places so far. We loved everything from the constant hustle and bustle of Manhattan, to the more calm and peaceful White Plains area. We can’t wait to come back and see more!
For more on this amazing pair, check out their channel by CLICKING HERE