Christine Ha — People Ask Me, How Can You Cook if You Are Blind?
Published Online: Wednesday, Jan 11, 2017
Christine Ha has neuromyelitis optica (NMO), a disease that has left her blind since 2007. Christine is also a Master Chef winner, TV host, author, and in inspiration to many in the rare disease community.
About Neuromyelitis Optica (NMO)
NMO is a severe inflammatory CNS disorder that results in inflammation of the eye nerves (optic neuritis) and the spinal cord (myelitis). This can lead to blindness in one or both eyes, weakness or paralysis in the legs or arms, painful spasms, loss of sensation, and bladder or bowel dysfunction from spinal cord damage. These attacks may be reversible, but can be severe enough to cause permanent visual loss. I
Christine was diagnosed with NMO in 2003 and is now legally blind. According to Christine, she can see shadows but cannot see figures or read text.
The condition has not stopped her from succeeding with her passion for cooking.
In 2012, she won the MasterChef competition and has just begun her 4th season of ‘Four Senses’, a cooking show for the vision impaired.
And when asked how she can cook since she is blind her response is fairly staright forward:
"Its like any challenge in life. You just face it head on and hope for the best....Sometimes you fail but you learn from your mistakes. You get back up and try again."
Christine also has a video blog to help others with visual impairment to navigate their day and to take risks –such as eating Canadian snack food. Below are two clips from Christine’s video blog that she has permitted us to share. Enjoy.