Julia Kabanova

We call her a "man like an orchestra" or a Hunt Crime Eye. She would have had at least nine professions if she wasn't a young, educated woman, and a mother of two. Julia says about herself that she is passionate about life: she has many interests, wants to do, go, be. Above all she values ​​her freedom to choose what to do in her life.

As a child, Julia was mobile and debonair, saying: "I did what I wanted and my parents couldn't stop me. They didn't want either". She lost her sight almost completely when she was a child. Julia's mother noticed something shortly after the baby was born while still in the maternity hospital. Doctors didn't pay attention to it right away, they thought it would pass. But it didn't. When investigated more seriously, the child was found to have congenital glaucoma in both eyes. Julia underwent several surgeries - she spent much of her early childhood in research and treatment hospitals in Moscow. Little Tallinn girl far away in a hospital in Moscow where her mother was not admitted. Beyond that fond memories, according to Julia though, it was already, to some extent, a resource for life. It gave her a broader view of the world, adaptability to different people and situations. Later, as an adult, Julia's eyes were still operated, but there was not much help from it. However Julia is not completely blind because she sees light and vague colors.

For the first class Julia went to Riga because there was no Russian language school for the blind in Estonia. She lived in a school dormitory for a week and her parents brought her home for the weekend. In the early 1990s, things got more complicated. So happened that in the fourth grade, Julia only got home during school holidays. Julia recalls taking care of the younger ones in the unit. It was important comforting them, organizing events. Basically she was trying to live "normal life". Inventing all sorts of fairy tales so that children would not cry and calmly fall asleep, was challenging for her.

In the fifth grade, Julia came to Tartu to the Emajõgi River School. The beginning was very difficult: a new environment, new people, foreign language. Julia says she didn't speak a single word in Estonian at the time and just kept silent for the first two years. But there was a positive side to it: - for the first time in his school years he really started to study.

After high school, Julia began to study special education at Tallinn University (which was then Tallinn Pedagogical University for the last year). The first year in Tallinn was quite difficult, especially because of moving through the city. Julia had applied for a guide-dog. She only got it two years later. At the time, the study materials were more complicated than they are today. She had her first child by the time of finishing her degree. Another was born during her master's studies - Julia's son is 9 and her daughter is 6 now. Studying was interrupted because the situation required earning money. Julia thinks she will definitely continue her education. It is not clear though, what areas she will choose.

At the same time, Julia was studying to become a masseur. His working life began on three fronts at once. First of all a couple of massages in the morning. Then a couple of counseling at the Rehabilitation Center for the Visually Impaired. A guide job at the AHHAA Center for a blind man at a daytime. A few more massages in the evening. 
Currently Julia continues as a masseur, as a special education counselor, and as a rehabilitation coach. Julia is very fond of conducting all kinds of so-called "dark events" (meals, dating, birthdays, games). She thinks it is interesting, exciting, allows you to socialize and - what's there to hide - also brings in money.

The Tondi Street House of the North Estonian Blind Society is a workplace for Julia, where she advises, teaches and massages. She wants to be beneficial to society. Therefore, he also does a lot of volunteering. He likes to have instant communication with people. Julia wants to help those who are in difficult situations, whether because of health (including loss of vision), accident, grief or whatever. "If it comes from the bottom of your heart, it also makes you happy." - says Julia.

Julia likes all kinds of activity. He goes on a tandem bike. Two years ago, he and his companion were on a pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela. Only half of the so-called French way, but they finished it! The long-standing dream of parachuting has also been realized.

Julia has a great deal of experience in the different circumstances. She has encountered different people in her life. Julia is convinced that all experiences are valuable. 

- "There is something to be learned from every situation! There's no failure, either success or learning experience!"

Story written April 2018