How would you feel if the doctor told you that your eye condition is deteriorating and has reached a point of no return? Devastated, perhaps. Give up on your future? Possibly. Or take it in your stride and hold on to your belief that all is not lost? Joshua Tseng did exactly that.
At seven, Joshua was diagnosed with congenital glaucoma, which resulted in tunnel vision. His condition deteriorated over the years to a point that his doctor had to give him the grimmest of reports, advising him to consider a career as a masseuse.
Instead, he chose a distinctly different path.
After a minor surgery at 16, Joshua’s vision deteriorated to a point that he was unable to see fine details such as text and facial expressions. After enrolling into the polytechnic, Joshua had to be taught to navigate using a white cane, and learn to use other assistive devices to aid him in his daily life.
“I realised it’s just a fact of life. If I want to do things and leave the house, I have to use it. The biggest challenge is really myself. I have to come to terms with who I am,” Joshua said, when asked about the need to use the white cane.
As an introverted individual with loving parents who were protective of him, he spent most of his time at home. With the amount of time at hand, Joshua spent most of them reading and pondering about the world and its wonders. He believes that the amount of time cooped up at home instilled in him an inquisitive and curious nature. It is due to this nature that led him to where he is today.
Joshua constantly wondered if there were reasons why people believed in certain products and not in others. Fundamentally, it was this fascination and wonder with the way people communicate with one another that piqued his interest in making marketing his career.
Joshua worked towards his goal by constantly trying out different roles in various internship positions, which allowed him a glimpse of what the job entails. While he was interning at a hotel, he realised that he had limited views of the world. With that, Joshua knew that he had to broaden his horizons. Not only did Joshua choose to further his studies, he also started taking up opportunities to work on various different projects. The work could be exciting or dull but if Joshua felt like he could gain something from the experience, he would almost always give it a shot. His curious nature became a motivation to constantly improve.
Joshua received the Asia Pacific Breweries Foundation Scholarship for Persons with Disabilities in September and is currently pursuing a degree at the Singapore Management University’s School of Information Systems.
Joshua remains grateful to those who have chosen to walk on this journey with him.
“I am grateful to all the people who have walked this journey with me. My family, friends, mentors, instructors and many others helped me to get to where I am today. I want them to know that they are definitely not forgotten,”
said Joshua, who is turning 20 this year.