My Name is Dave Steele and I am an almost totally blind gentleman from from Manchester in the UK who has just written and published his first book of poetry. I am also a singer and song writer. And I do my best to be an example to others on how adversity only makes you a better stronger version of you.
The book is entitled Stand By Me RP and is a collection on inspirational poems written by me to raise awareness and help those with the same condition as me, Retinitis Pigmentosa.
I have lost the majority of my vision in the last 2 years to this hereditary degenerative condition which has no treatment or cure.
The poems which have been shared via RP social media support groups have gained me followers worldwide.
In the last year and a half I have written nearly 200 poems and songs that deal with the fears and struggles a lot of us share as we lose our sight. They deal with the many misconceptions that the seeing world have about the blind. They help those who are being isolated by a condition that strips us of our independence know that they aren’t alone and help educate loved ones on how we feel.
One of my followers from Canada put it like this.
“Dave Steele’s poetry is an amazingly intense, insightful, and accurate portrayal about what it is like, and how it feels to have RP. He has brought countless people together with his words, largely eliminating the isolation we all felt, and articulating our fears and hopes in ways we couldn’t . His words educate family and friends of those with RP in a way no one else can, straight from the heart. Dave’s words bring not only bring a new understanding and hope for us all, but also give us permission to embrace the feelings of hopelessness and despair that we so often hide from our loved ones, so that we may move forward from those feelings and live our lives to the fullest”.
Origin of the book title
The Book is entitled Stand By Me RP after the song by that name. I had the idea to use music to raise awareness as I believe songs with great lyrics or poems have the ability to touch the heart like nothing else. So I chose the song Stand By Me by Ben E King and changed the lyrics to describe how I felt losing my sight and this struck a chord with so many in the Blind community. Here’s the video https://youtu.be/qxFdmqZoceo
The response from the blind community lead to me being asked to perform the song at Joanne Milnes book launch who came to the attention of the world when at the age of 40 she heard for the first time after having cochlear implants fitted due to Usher Syndrome (which is RP with hearing loss) here’s the video. https://youtu.be/S7LcNUxcQ8Y
Another Inspiring Song
I also changed the lyrics to a song called One day like this by Elbow for Joanne as it was one of the very first pieces of music she ever heard. I even gained permission from the band after they heard and love my lyric change. Here’s the video. https://youtu.be/9izTMkKaMgs
Still more to my story
This is just a small part of what’s happened with my work over the last 2 years, my poems and songs have been used at different events in America and Australia. All the while I remain behind my door in Manchester fighting to regain my independence as I wait to be matched with a guide dog. Clinging on to my remaining sight whilst raising my 4 children.
The book is available on Amaazon. Naturally, I would be willing to send you a copy to review prior to deciding on whether or not to have me as a guest. I hope you will consider having me on your show to share my story.
Regards Dave Steele