Losing vision, gaining a career | NevadaAppeal.com

Losing vision, gaining a career

Becky Bosshart
Appeal Staff Writer
Cathleen Allison/Nevada Appeal Massage Therapist Len Campbell works on Janine Green on Thursday at his downtown Carson City office.

Len Campbell has been going blind all of his life, but noticeably for the last 37 years. Instead of quietly retreating to a life at home, he started a new career in his twilight years.

Campbell opened a new massage therapy business called the Third Eye. He is fueling his professional development and healing others using the senses that are now his strongest – touch and hearing.

“It’s like having a TV and dots are going bad all over the place,” said Campbell, who worked as a real estate broker for 30 years.

Campbell, 63, listens for footsteps outside the office to know when clients arrive. He uses his right hand to guide himself down the hallway to the massage room at Healing Arts Associates, 111 W. Telegraph St., suite 22. There a client waited, ready for a full-body massage.

Janine Green, 39, had spinal fusion surgery after a fall nine years ago. Every so often, she gets thrown out of whack.

“I was at a party recently and my heel broke,” said Green, who works full- time as a party planner. “I couldn’t leave, so I had to balance on the one heel all night. By the time I got home, I had thrown my hips out. I could barely move the next day. I called Len.”

Those calls come once or twice a month. Her children – aged 9 and 11 – have regular appointments with Campbell. Green said her family is sleeping better, moving better and has more energy.

Campbell can feel when tension is released from Green’s body. He can also tell that her nasal cavities are stuffed up.

“You’ve been growling at people, haven’t you?” he asked while doing the facial massage.

Campbell’s blindness is the result of a genetic illness affecting his retinas. He first discovered it when he was 26, after he crashed his truck. Campbell was losing his peripheral vision.

His right eye is the worst. He can still see a little out of his left. A little better using a fish-eye magnifying glass.

His wife directed him into the Ralston School of Massage in Reno.

Nicki Campbell said she came into his office one day and noticed he was having difficulty reading. He looked sad. For their entire 40-year marriage, he’d questioned his chosen career path. He sounded hopeful about massage school, in addition to helping at the real estate office.

“I twisted his arm,” she said, then laughed.

The school could teach him, despite his blindness. Campbell was told he was a natural. He took the bus to Reno twice a week for two years to attend his classes.

“He needed something to make him feel whole again,” she said.

To reach the Third Eye call 843-6831.

• Contact reporter Becky Bosshart at bbosshart@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1212.