Joy Ross, Believing is Seeing!


Mariana Flores, Reporter

Joy Ross is an amazing YouTube star. On her YouTube channel, not only does she share the challenges she faces with the loss of her eye sight, she doesn’t even let that get to her. She also does “day in the life” videos with her guide dog and family videos with her dogs, daughters, and her husband Jorge. She has had her YouTube channel for over 5 years, and she has over 500 videos. If you don’t know who Joy Ross is, then she is a great person to get to know. Joy has had some good and bad challenges through out her life.
As a child, she was born with Juvenile Arthritis and Uveitis, a disease that could potentially take anyone’s eye sight if not treated.

For most of her life, Joy has had limited eye sight, she could not see out of her right eye, but she could see things within a few feet with her left eye. It wasn’t until a day in January of 2008 that she had a retinal detachment in her left eye which took the rest of her sight. As this was happening, she saw this darkness come upon her. No, she wouldn’t let that stop her. As she prayed, she was also hospitalized 8 times because of staph infections. The infections got to the point where her immune system could not fight it because of all the medication she was put on. “When I lost my sight, I thought all hope was lost. I thought that I couldn’t be the mom that I once. ” That is not the case here. Joy has conquered so many challenges with her loss of eye sight such as jumping off the 108th floor of the Stratosphere in Las Vegas.

While Joy has conquered challenges, she also likes to share her experiences with a white cane and her guide dog to her youtube channel. Let’s go back a few moments here. Before Joy received her first guide dog Antonia, she didn’t really like dogs. She only liked dogs from a distance. Meaning that she liked the dogs that lived outside of the house, but she knew that the guide dog was going to be a perfect idea. Her orientation specialist said, “No you have too much eye sight to qualify for a guide dog.” Getting a guide dog doesn’t mean you have to be totally blind to get a guide dog.

When Joy received her first guide dog, she also gave a middle name to Antonia – Hope, because Antonia restored hope back in to her heart. That is a beautiful middle name from an amazing YouTube star. “Without Antonia, I wouldn’t have been the mom that I am now,” Joy explains. Antonia guided her for 9 years, but Antonia developed kidney disease which caused her to slow down.

Joy doesn’t just like to share her challenges, but showing how she uses her other 4 senses to see, she also likes to travel, speak, and sing. With her 2 girls, Isabella and Georgianna, plus Antonia, Joy has traveled to many other places such as Orlando, Florida where not only did Joy go to speak and tell her story, she also went over to the Disney World as a retirement celebration for Antonia.. For Joy, Antonia was the best medicine when she thought all hope was lost when she lost her complete eye sight. After retiring Antonia, she filled out another application for her next guide named Arabella. Arabella has now been guiding Joy for over a year now, and they have accomplished so much. Not only is Arabella her guide dog, she is a service dog in the house. Ever since Joy received Arabella, Joy has trained Arabella to pick things she drops on the floor. Every time Joy drops something whether it be her makeup bottle, or a pin, she would say, “Arabella, find it!” What a very smart way to train a service dog.

Joy always wants people to know that Joy is not just her name, it is also a choice. Which is true, you have a choice between joy and depression. Joy also wants people to know that, “You do not have to have eye sight to have vision.” Great advice for people who are struggling with the loss of eye sight.