by Satina Richardson
 
Lakesha Story, OD, and Latesha Story-Walker, OD, are twin sisters from West Shawmut, AL, a community of fewer than 10,000 not far from Columbus, GA. Story and Story-Walker are the owners of Doublevision Eye Care in Valley, AL, and will soon open a second location in Columbus, GA.
 
“It has often been asked if anything good comes out of West Shawmut," the twins said. "We stand proud as representations of the YES. It was the good of the community that God opened our eyes to and it has been a source of our inspiration.”
 
The Doubles, as they are sometimes referenced, discovered optometry as undergraduates at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Knowing they wanted healthcare careers, they earned bachelor’s degrees in biology with minors in chemistry and explored the various career options that could suit their interests. 
 
“We knew we wanted to enter the medical field but were unsure as to what direction we wanted to pursue,” they said. “It started off as pediatric doctors and changed as we finished a hospital volunteer rotation at UAB and changed after listening to the family sacrifice that was required by a doctor who spoke at a prehealth club meeting. We’ve always been family-oriented, so the late nights and on call rotations did not match the lifestyle we wanted to live.”
 
As sophomores at UAB, the twins were hired as UABSO student assistants. This is where they met Gerald Simon, OD, director of student affairs, and the late Jennifer Banks, also in student affairs. Both were instrumental in their decision to attend UABSO and to become optometrists. Mrs. Brenda Carter, “the prayer warrior of UABSO,” was also pivotal in their journey through optometry school. 
 
The Doubles started as student assistants for UABSO, then transitioned to optometry assistants for Walmart Vision Center to doctors of optometry.
 
Separately, the sisters have experienced several modes of optometry. Both have practiced in corporate and private settings. Story worked as the head of optometry for a community health center where she single-handedly started the vision department. 
 
Story-Walker has served active duty military and local military families. They eventually came together to provide eye care in the Greater Valley Area, opening Doublevision Eye Care in 2015.
 
“We attribute our success to God, each other, our family, and our community,” they said. “It’s a testimony that one is not limited by his/her economic status, environment, or skin tone. Yes, there have been setbacks, challenges and disappointments, however, in the midst of it all laid opportunity. It was West Shawmut that taught us what it means to make the most of every opportunity that life has to offer.”