“I was born with a genetic condition called NF1. It caused brain tumours which pressed on my optic nerves, they are pretty much dead now.
I stopped using my cane at 13, I thought I had enough sight to get along and if I fell, I fell. I didn’t want to drag a pole around everywhere. But back in June this year, the rapid sight loss started. Nobody knows why it’s happened.
With that I lost my independence. I couldn’t take an exam recently because I can no longer read the notes I had made. I haven’t been to the mall in months, it’s just completely overwhelming, sometimes unbearable. Those are the days when you lose part of who you were.
It can make you feel very alone, like everything is moving away from you. But with the support of Guide Dogs, I am able to feel like I’m still moving forward. You get hope, because there are people out there who can help you really succeed.
I was on the bus when I got the call to say I was on the waiting list for a Guide Dog. I was so happy I just started to cry. He’ll help me get my independence back and be someone on those dark days I can go and hug, a best friend.
There’s not too long to wait now and every second, every minute, every hour brings me closer to getting my Guide Dog.
My positive attitude does go sometimes, some recent days have been pretty dark and tough. Thinking about getting my Guide Dog is the only thing that’s got me through it.
I started training for the Tokyo Paralympic 5,000 metres in 2016. But with my recent sight loss, I can’t do that event anymore. But now I’m trying to make the 2020 Paralympic Marathon instead. It’s going to be tough, but with the help of my Guide Dog to get me through, I know I can reach my dreams.
I think I’d be speechless to meet a Guide Dogs supporter. I’d almost cry.
Their generosity – how they can put their troubles aside and be so caring, so compassionate to help someone like me. I would thank them so much make sure their generosity is noted in my heart.” - Ben
Ben is just one of 12 people desperately waiting for a Guide Dog right now. Your Christmas gift of will help us breed, raise and train more Guide Dogs so people like Ben don’t have to wait. Because no one should feel like their life has stopped after sight loss.