Being a genetic carrier of this condition causing steady sight loss, Paul blamed himself, and felt understandably protective of his son:
“Losing my sight was very difficult for me as a child. Back then, there was very little support and quite a lot of stigma. I had to give up on my dreams. I’m scared Noah will have to go through that too.”
Noah can now only see a meter ahead, but he doesn’t let his sight loss hold him back:
“I always loved sports and going fast. One day I was in the car with my support worker. We went past a BMX track and I thought it sounded fun.”
That was 2 years ago, and Noah shows no signs of slowing down yet. He’s participated in several BMX races and has even raced in Nationals. Noah is determined to live the life he wants to live and told us:
“People often think I can’t do things because I have sight loss. But it’s not true – I just need help learning how sometimes. Like, if I’m at a new track for the first time, I needsomeone to trace the circuit on my palm so I know what shape it is and where the jumps are.”
Noah continues conquering the BMX track with help he receives from Guide Dogs – thanks to you and other wonderful supporters.
“The team at Guide Dogs are great. They’re always helping me to make sure I don’t miss out. I don’t know what my life would be like without them.”
Noah’s yet to be matched with a Guide Dog of his own. But he’s spent enough time with his dad’s dog, Keith, to realise how it could help with his independence and self-confidence.
“Keith is great. He’s like a brother to me because he’s so caring and loves his job. I’d love a Guide Dog of my own one day.”
Paul commented ‘“My family and I know the importance of what Guide Dogs NSW/ACT do and we are so grateful. Thank you so very much.”